“Can my lecturer access my personal information?” – And Other Issues of Data Protection at the Higher Learning Institutions 

By: Sonny Zulhuda 

In the past week alone, I spoke about the personal data protection law at two Malaysian public universities; Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin (UniSZA) Kuala Terengganu and Universiti Malaysia Pahang (UMP) Pekan. While the former was an internal programme, the latter talk was attended by other public universities’representatives who were members of Majlis Tatatertib dan Disiplin Universiti-universiti Awam Malaysia (MATDUM).

In this post, I would like to note some discussions we had on the implementation of the Personal Data Protection Act 2010 at the University environment.

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The education industry is indeed among those where personal information is highly processed. The data subjects include students (prospective, actual and graduates), university’s employees, as well as any individuals involved in the data processing.

Continue reading

Personal Data Protection a Key Concern for Human Resources (HR) Professional

By: Sonny Zulhuda

More personally identifiable information (PII) is being captured in the commercial activities across sectors and industries. The workplace today has become a battleground for protecting employees’ valuable personal data that includes their personal records, financial status, medical information as well as the professional data relating to their jobs.

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As a result, it is not too much to say that managing human resource HR) data has now become a critical success factor for organisations both internally and externally. Internally, because an effective and sustainable personal data management supports the works of everyone in the organization who relies on those data. Externally, because personal data has now become a crucial issue closely linked with managing trust and competitiveness while trying to grab the best human capital in the industry.

Given this, a Human Resource (HR) manager plays a central role to ensure that personal data of the employees and anyone around them would remain as assets and not turn out as liabilities for the commercial organizations. And for Malaysian employers, dealing with personal data of their employees, customers as well as their service providers has transformed from largely a business and operational issue to a legal and compliance concern.

With the enforcement of the Personal Data Protection (PDP) Act 2010 (Act 709), the operational landscape for human resource management has tremendously changed. The Act tasks the employers with a series of obligations relating to the collection, use, disclosure and retention of the personal data in their control, including data of employees, job applicants, former workers, outsourced service providers, vendors and customers.

Even though measures from industrial laws and guidelines are abundant and in place, employers are still in the dark about the multi-dimensional effect of the PDP Act 2010 on the employment relationship. Many practical issues arose in the workplace and throughout the employment lifecycle. These questions would likely arise:

  • Who are implicated by the PDP Act 2010?
  • What are the seven data protection principles in the Act and how do I (as an HR manager) implement them in my scope of work? Continue reading
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