The Jakarta Post 22/1/2019: #10yearschallenge could simplify data collection, expert says

The following passages are copied from the report in the Jakarta Post online <https://www.thejakartapost.com/life/2019/01/21/10yearschallenge-could-simplify-data-collection-expert-says.html> which quoted my comments about the recent social media trend #10yearschallenge. It is partially reproduced here for the purpose of wider reach. Please click on the above link to the original source for the complete report.

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BIG-DATA

The #10yearschallenge has recently swept across social media, with users posting pictures of themselves in 2009 and 2019. Sonny Zulhuda, a lecturer in cyber law at the International Islamic University Malaysia and advisor at Malaysia’s Department of Personal Data Protection, said the hashtag could be a shortcut used for data collection.

Speaking to Antara news agency in Kuala Lumpur on Monday, Sonny said netizens mostly participated in the challenge for entertainment and nostalgia purposes. However, he also said users might not realize the photos could be used for other purposes that could help social media companies or third parties in their lines of work. These include improving databases of users’ faces based on age, time period, race, gender and environment.

“With such an indicative label as #10yearschallenge, data filtering and interpretation would be so much easier. It’s almost like giving a shortcut for data collection. For some people, this is hardly a new issue as the data has been stored on social media and the internet. What’s considered new is how users have made it easier for companies in regards to data curating and packaging.”

Sonny shared that big data curators could freely verify the data in their database packaging, something that is considered a difficult and important process. “This is because the verification has been done by the data owners themselves. In terms of security, it won’t be a problem should the face transformations be stored securely so they are not misused,” he added.

He also said that facial recognition technology had positive effects, such as helping to solve cases of missing people. However, he said that the same technology could be used by private investigators to spy on other people, or by parties that might use data for commercial and marketing purposes. According to Sonny, the worst possibility is if parties misuse the availability of face data for identity forgery.

“Our faces, biographical data, communications, movements and the combination of all those things are considered assets in this digital era. Let’s always be aware,” he said. (wng)

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Menyoal Tren “10 Years Challenge”

By: Sonny Zulhuda

jpdp

Akhir-akhir ini pengguna media sosial pasti sudah banyak melihat foto-foto transformasi wajah yang dilabel hashtag #10yearschallenge. Tidak kurang, politisi dunia hingga artis dan selebriti pun berpartisipasi dalam trend yang satu ini. Aktivitas ini dimanfaatkan oleh masyarakat media sosial sebagai bahan hiburan dan obrolan yang menarik dan tidak jarang menggelitik.

Namun, mungkin banyak yang sadar bahwa foto-foto yang disebar itu akan memudahkan pihak media sosial atau pihak ketiga untuk melakukan beberapa pekerjaan mereka seperti:

1. Penyempurnaan database wajah individu berikut kronologi tahun dan usia.
2. Penelitian pola transformasi wajah manusia berdasarkan usia, periode, dan demografi lainnya seperti ras, gender, lingkungan, dan lainnya.
3. Pemrograman pada teknologi artificial ingelligence dalam melakukan rekaan wajah secara lebih akurat.
4. Identifikasi dan penyamaran.

Apalagi, dengan label yang sangat indikatif seperti #10yearschallenge akan semakin memudahkan penyaringan dan interpretasi data sehingga memberikan jalan pintas untuk pencarian data itu sendiri. Label hashtag itu sama dengan fungsi metadata. Semakin banyak hashtag, maka akan semakin mudah pencarian data tersebut di domain publik.

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From Privacy Suit to EU GDPR: Data Protection Updates from Malaysia – As reported in the Borneo Post

By: Sonny Zulhuda

The beginning of the year saw my interview with the Malaysian daily the Borneo Post that was published on 1st January 2019. This interview was initiated by my colleagues from the consultancy firm Straits Interactive. The report was entitled “Malaysians increasingly aware of risks with data breach.” It can be found in this link.

The article started to to note that Malaysians now are more aware about the risks associated with breaches of their personal data. In fact, we in Malaysia have seen in the past five years, that there is a sharp increase in data privacy civil suits in the local Malaysian courts.

Among the points I highlighted in the interview are as follows:

What are the costs of data breaches?

  • The cost of data breaches can be seen in many areas. In terms of legal liabilities, companies in breach of the Malaysian PDP Act 2010 can be fined up to RM500,000 – for offences such as unlawful sale or unlawful collection of personal data, as well as collection of data without the required certificate of registration.
  • And when a data breach occurs, costs can also be incurred through technical repairs and loss of reputation. Business can also suffer because of bad publicity.
  • Civil suits can also be brought against companies, and these can cost businesses a lot of money. Malaysians are becoming increasingly more aware of the risks associated with breaches of their personal data, and we have seen a sharp increase in data privacy civil suits in the local Malaysian courts in the past five years.

Are we prepared? Here is what I said:

  • Unlike companies in the US and Europe, many companies in the Asean have yet to reach an acceptable level of preparedness. Data protection does not tend to be a part of the business culture, however some industries (banking and finance) are more prepared due to legislation and legal requirements.
  • To bolster the understanding and preparedness of other industries, we need more public awareness, training, and certified professionals in the field of data protection.

What are among the common concerns?

  • One major concern in Malaysia is how much our MyKad (ID cards) details are easily and unnecessarily exposed. Many people needlessly impose the collection or retention of MyKad details before people start business communication or interactions, enter premises, or participate in events. Unfortunately, lots of people are happy to submit these details and this gives the impression that these practices are approved and not an issue.
  • Another problem is direct marketing, as well as unsolicited commercial calls, emails and text messages. While it’s clear individuals have the right to refuse direct marketing, it still regularly happens.

What has been prepared?

  • I highlighted that leading consultant like Straits Interactive plays the role to champion a public-private partnership by establishing alliance with academia, industries and the government. This partnership will ensure Malaysia as a nation moves together and responds to data privacy issues with a common understanding and comprehensive programmes.

Does the European Union GDPR (General Data Protection Regulations) have anything to do with the Malaysians?

  • With the passing and enforcement of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in May 2018, Malaysia needs to gear up for these stronger laws and better enforcement.
  • The GDPR applies to companies who also interact with European citizens, and this requires short-term training programmes and certifications in the field of data protection.
  • A collaboration at the regional level is also timely and necessary. We are heading towards that.

Credit on this Interview to the Straits Interactive and the Borneo Post.

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