From the 2nd Annual Summit on Personal Data Protection (KL, 12-13 Dec 2012)

By: Sonny Zulhuda

Brochure2 PDP Forum Dec 2012This 2nd Annual Personal Data Protection Summit was held in Royale Chulan of Kuala Lumpur. As admitted by the organiser (the World Asian Summit), this year edition showed much bigger interest. This impressive crowd attendance can only mean one thing: the undeniable importance of the PDP Act 2010.

The Deputy Minister Dato’ Joseph Salang had re-emphasised the Government’s seriousness about implementing the long-awaited legislation, which was already passed since June 2010. In his key-note speech, he again revealed that the Act will be enforced on the 1st January 2013 – echoing similar statement by the Minister of Information, Communications and Culture recently (Read reports on Dato’ Joseph’s announcement here, here and here).

I was invited to speak in the 2-day conference, on “Reality check on the right to privacy in Malaysia — and how is it affected by the mobile technologies and social media.” Other speakers in this conference include Prof. Abu Bakar Munir (the Malaysian Govt consultant who helped formulating the PDP Act 2010); Pn. Siti Hajar Yasin (UiTM Professor); Tn Hj Abu Hassan Ismail (DG for the PDP Department); Mr. Stephen Lau (1st HK Privacy Commissioner); Claro Parlade (Senior Privacy Counsel of Google Asia Pacific); and Zaid Hamzah (Singapore-based strategic lawyer).

The Sun on PDP 121212(2)In my speech, I noted about right to privacy in Malaysia. How the Malaysian society views and expects about the right to privacy? This can be derived from several aspects: traditional traces, religious practices and constitutional foundations. I also highlighted how the right to privacy has been making its presence in the legal system of Malaysia, more specifically through the judicial judgments.

I noted that Malaysian courts had moved from “rejectionist” to “cautionist” and now to “accommodative” when it comes to the protection of privacy based on the infringement of such right. In one recent case, the Malaysian Court of Appeal had even declared they are ”the guardians of citizens’ right to privacy” (2010). That’s awesome!

As a take-away for the participants, I highlighted what significance PDP Act 2010 has brought to the right of privacy (especially data privacy) in Malaysia.

In summary:

#1 – PDPA 2010 reformulates privacy protection in 7 PDP Principles
#2 – PDPA 2010 spells out PRIVACY CONCERNS throughout data life-cycle
#3 – PDPA 2010 redefines Rights of Data Subjects
#4 – PDPA 2010 identifies PRIVACY RISKS associated with Personal Data
#5 – PDPA 2010 encourages Data Users to manage Privacy Risks –PIA model?

The Conference ended with a high note that it is now, I repeat, NOW, time to move, get geared, and get prepared to reformulate our business process, and more importantly, to shift our paradigm and business culture into that which appreciates the values of individual’s personal data.

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