The Apportionment of Liability on Electronic Commerce in the Arab Countries: A Literature Review

Reported by Sonny Zulhuda

Image The above is the abstract for an academic paper that was presented in the 2nd Global Islamic Marketing Conference (GIMC) 2012 in 16-18 January 2012, Abu Dhabi, UAE. It is originally a working draft of literature review by my student Yahya A.F. for his doctoral research. He himself attended and presented the paper.

Myself being in the supervisory role jointly drafted the summarised review paper for the Conference. Here is the full Abstract:

The increasing popularity of electronic commerce has shown its problematic side, namely the issue of apportionment of liability. Due to the involvement of several intermediaries, it is often uncertain if those intermediaries would assume responsibility, or to what extent if any, should the transaction goes wrong.The current paper, a research in progress, identifies this issue in the context of e-commerce practices in Arab countries with particular attention to the Palestine. It goes further with a literature review on the peculiar issues related to the e-commerce and the apportionment of liability, and ultimately sheds the light on the direction of research needed in future on the areas of e-commerce law both in the Palestine and the Arab countries generally.

Security Safeguards on e-Payment Systems in Malaysia: Analysis on the Payment Systems Act 2003

By: Sonny Zulhuda

This is an excerpt on my latest paper that was contributed to the International Conference on Legal, Security and Privacy Issues in IT (LSPI) that is currently held in the Catalonian city Barcelona, Spain on 3-5 November 2010.

This paper is an extension from what I wrote in my PhD thesis especially my comment on the Malaysian Payment System Act (PSA) 2003. The focus of the paper is on security-related obligation for the e-payment operators in Malaysia.

The abstract is as follows:

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Not All Personal Data is Covered by PDP Act 2010

By: Sonny Zulhuda

The illustration above tells us the scope and limitation of the Malaysian Personal Data Protection Act 2010. It is a summary taken from diverse provisions of the Statute.

Given those limitations, the following would not likely be protected by the Act:

IT Law Improves Country’s Competitiveness

By: Sonny Zulhuda

The above is my paper that I delivered in a seminar at Law Faculty, University Diponegoro (Undip), Semarang, this month (June 2o1o). More than 120 participants attended mostly academics, faculties and law students from that University. Beside me as speaker was Prof. Dr. Nyoman Sarikat Putrajaya from the Law Faculty of Undip.

We discussed how the cyberlaw and other IT-related legislation can improve the competitiveness of the country, in this respect Indonesia. Variety of issues were being highlighted and debated including international law, cybercrime, content regulation, e-commerce law, phishing and carding, personal data protection, and -unsurprisingly the most popular topic- the latest incident of online porn that involved some national celebrities.

The program was organised by the Asian Law Students Association (ALSA), Undip Local Chapter in cooperation with Law Firm Prihatwono & Partners. My long-time friend Rico from the Law Firm acted as the moderator. Should you are interested to know further about the paper, you can let me know by email (zulhuda at yahoo dot com). Ah, by the way, it is in Indonesian language! 🙂

Personal Data Protection Bill passed by Malaysian Parliament

By: Sonny Zulhuda

It is official now, that the long-awaited personal data protection (PDP) Bill had been passed by the Malaysian House of Representative (Dewan Rakyat). I personally attended the debate that was held yesterday, Monday, 5 April 2010 in the Dewan Rakyat. I am particularly glad that I could make it to the Parliament to watch the passing of the Bill that had filled much of my research time since I was doing my Masters dissertation on PDP law back in 2000.

The debate that took place between 17.00 hrs-19.30 hrs was to me more than just a formality of legislative process. MPs from both sides took turn to present their views, experiences, concerns and arguments on many aspects of the law. Some took even lengthy time to establish their points, citing a number of provision of the Bill.

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A Brief Note on Malaysia’s Payment Systems Act 2003

By: Sonny Zulhuda


Malaysia regards electronic commerce as a powerful driver for the national development and economic growth. This belief has be reinforced by the setting up of national policies and laws seeking to ensure that processes, tools and technologies are put in place to facilitate the electronic commerce. Among those laws is the Payment Systems Act (‘PSA’) 2003 (Act 627) which came into force on 1st November 2003). It is a principal legislation which provides for the framework for the regulation and supervision of the payment systems and payment instrument in Malaysia.

When anticipating the birth of this law, the Central Bank Governor emphasized that the study on the legal and regulatory framework was undertaken to enhance the efficiency of payment system and to specifically provide the mandate to the Central Bank of Malaysia to effectively oversee and facilitate greater development of such system in the country.

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Consumer Protection in the E-Transaction: Better (Too) Late than Never (An Abstract)

By: Sonny Zulhuda*

Malaysia has over a decade regarded the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) as a powerful tools and engine for growth in future. Related investments and development projects are dramatically boosted and other industrial and social infrastructures also gained the attention.

The consumer side, however, has a different story. While many of consumer concerns were addressed and gradually solved with the coming into force of the Consumer Protection Act (CPA) 1999, one major aspect of consumer protection is somehow lagging behind. The Malaysia’s CPA 1999 makes it clear that its provisions do not apply to those transactions effected by the electronic means. This is in turn resulting in an absurd situation. As one scholar noted, there is absurdity to find that while one can be compensated for a loss due to defective goods or services he or she took from normal transaction, the same cannot be guaranteed for the transaction he or she entered into electronically. What is then the protection offered by law in Malaysia for the e-transaction consumers? The truth is that, there is currently no comprehensive legal framework for protecting e-transaction consumers. It is argued that the law is in changing and developing mode.

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Risks of Internet Banking vis a vis Consumer Protection in Malaysia (An Abstract)

By: Sonny Zulhuda *

Like other ICT inventions that promise both unprecedented benefits and scaring risks, Internet banking has been received by both excitement and worries. While it offers high level of effectiveness such as online fund transfer as easy as from customers’ home desktop, it also haunts many as reflected in incidents involving theft of personal access code, tracing of online footprints and intrusion of online activities of other customers.

In Malaysia, Internet banking is still at its infancy though the number of service providers is increasing. Unfortunately, some crucial areas are left unclear for Internet banking consumers. This includes issues of distribution of liability between Internet banking stakeholders, use of personal data of bank customers, and low level of consumer protection provided by Internet banking operators. Furthermore, serious risks are awaiting consumers since the country’s consumer protection law statute is not applicable to commercial activities effected by information and communications technologies (ICT).

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E-Business and Privacy: Total Strangers or Marriage Made in Heaven? (An Abstract)

By: Sonny Zulhuda *

The information economy derives its name from the fact that information has become a powerful source of wealth for today’s corporations. Understandably there comes the rising demand to ensure this promised wealth is not unnecessarily missed. For this, today’s corporate world witnesses a great evolution in terms of the way they run the business by adopting the advantage of information and communications technologies (ICT). These tools have been increasingly exploited in order to secure the wealth as promised by the information age.

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E-Commerce and Consumer Protection in Malaysia

By: Sonny Zulhuda *

The internet hits us like the storm and its implosion is truly phenomenal. It’s a forum to retrieve, communicate and disseminate information. Last but not least, it’s the best place to advertise goods without being restrained by conventional/traditional modes of transaction and costly advertisements.

What is Electronic Commerce?

Electronic commerce (e-commerce) means all forms of commercial activities that are carried out through electronic networks including the promotion, marketing, supply, order or delivery of goods or services. Internet is the most common medium used for e-commerce worldwide.

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