What Happens When Data Protection Law is Further Delayed?

By: Sonny Zulhuda

This week, President Joko Widodo once again reiterated his strong wish for the Indonesian personal data protection (PDP) law to be passed soon. Delivering his speech on the occasion of the Human Rights Day celebration, the President reminded that the PDP law is critical for protecting Indonesian human rights, namely the privacy of their personal data.

This statement came in the light of the recent announcement from the Parliament that the ongoing debate on the PDP bill will be continued in the parliamentary agenda in 2022.

What will happen if the PDP bill is further delayed and, eventually, the PDP law is still absent in Indonesia? These are my take:

Firstly, uninterrupted exploitation: Businesses continue to monetize unfairly, leaving the gap of economy widens. Then, secondly, this will threaten democracy and civil society, as government agencies continue to handle citizens’ data without legal check and balance to the rights of individuals.

Thirdly, individuals will be further subject to lost privacy, exploited resources, threat to safety, harassment, constant surveillance and reduced quality of life. This condition, fourthly, will lead to a growing distrust over the Internet and the digital platforms, hence the threat to our national economy. Finally, we will witness our country losing international credibility – this will potentially create a reputation of data crime safe-heaven and a hostile trade country. God forbids!

This is among the key point I offered in the public lecture (virtual) at the Faculty of Law, Universitas Ahmad Dahlan (UAD), Yogyakarta, Indonesia, on this Saturday morning, 11th December 2021. Thanks to Rector Prof Muchlas and friends from the Law School: Dean Muhajir, Mdm Wita and others, for having me.

The slides can be downloaded here.

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