Consumers to take control of their Personal Data

My Intro: The following passages were published by the Star in their Sunday Edition (6th January 2013) at pp 23-24. The article is about what Malaysian consumers should know and do in relation to their personal data. It is based on another interview the journalist had with me. For the benefit of the readers, I reproduce some parts of the article in this page. Should you want to read it in full, check the newspaper’s page HERE.

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“Consumers, take control of your personal data”

The Personal Data Protection Act 2010 has come into force, but the public will have to do their part to make it effective.

Credit: The Star Online

Credit: The Star Online

EAGER to win the grand prize, Maria (not her real name) did not hesitate to “drop” her name card at the door for a lucky draw at a company dinner. Weeks later, she found herself inundated with phone calls and text messages offering different services and products.

It is an accepted practice in Malaysia to leave our call cards or personal information at the registration counter of public events. But have you ever wondered what your personal data will be used for later? Or how it will be stored?

This has become so common here that no one thinks twice about the risks and implications, says personal data protection law expert Dr Sonny Zulhuda.

Under the newly enforced Personal Data Protection Act 2010 (PDPA), however, this practice will have to be reviewed, particularly for business entities that use these occasions as an opportunity to build their network of potential customers.

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When you “fly”, does your data fly along or fly away?

By: Sonny Zulhuda

Now everyone can “fly”! Yes we know that. But when you fly, will your personal information fly away in the sky? That, not everyone knows.  This is the simple question that makes the backdrop of my recent paper, to be presented in Singapore’s International Conference of Social Science and Humanities (ICSSH2011) at the end of this month.

The paper is entitled: “Personal Data “Up in the Air” – A Tale of Two Malaysian Airlines in Dealing with Consumers Online Privacy.” It is a joint effort with one of my former students Ms. Maryam Delpisheh.

We know that uncertainties and concerns surrounding the privacy of personal information in Malaysia in the wake of many data abuse incidents had led to the passing of Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA) 2010. In a market where personal data has long been widely traded and unjustifiably exploited, the coming of this law could resemble the arrival of a long-awaited messiah expected to correct the evils and rectify people’s problem in a very immediate manner.

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