Speak Privacy an Asian Way — at Asia Privacy Bridge Forum in Korea

By: Sonny Zulhuda

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Last week I received this invitation letter to speak at the Third Asia Privacy Bridge Forum, hosted by Barun ICT Research Centre, Yonsei University, Seoul, South Korea towards the end of June 2017. The Director of the Centre, Dr. Beomsoo Kim noted that this Forum is supported also by KISA (Korea Internet and Security Agency) and the Korean Ministry of Interior. I am asked to speak about the development of the data protection laws in two countries Malaysia and Indonesia.

This is an exciting surprise. Not only because it would be my first visit to Korea, but also because I will have an invaluable opportunity to mingle with the Asia Pacific and international network on privacy and data protection; and to share with them what is up in Malaysia and Indonesia on this subject. There are other speakers who are expected to speak from different jurisdictions: Korea, Japan, Singapore and China. After all, the event sets as an ultimate aim a common desire to move forward collectively and globally in addressing the challenges of enforcing data privacy laws.

From the Malaysian perspective, this is the time to showcase what it has done or set to do beyond the initial period of public education on the law. What has been done towards enforcement? That is specifically questions that I would like to share during the Conference. Besides, the fact that the industries have moved further to issue self-regulatory Codes of Practice is also a stimulating development.

From the Indonesian perspective, there is quite a few development to share. In the past year, it is noteworthy that the 2008 Law on Information and E-Transaction (“UU-ITE”) was amended by the  Parliament to strengthen some aspects of the law, including on the “Right to be Forgotten”. Then, still in 2016, the Information Minister issued a new Ministerial Regulation on the Protection of Personal Data Processed Electronically. This regulatory piece is indeed a milestone to the data privacy law in Indonesia, albeit that it is a subsidiary legislation, rather than a parliamentary statute. Beyond this, there is this Bill draft of the Personal Data Protection Act that has been consolidated in early 2017.

With all these development, I hope I can portray insightful updates to the Forum and ultimately to everyone who shares the interest on this subject. But first, let’s hope my visa is ready on time.

Breach of Personal Data — Telco was Sued for Leak of Communications Data

By: Sonny Zulhuda

What would you do when you realised an unknown has in his/her possession records of your SMS exchanges and a the actual recordings of your telephone conversations and sent them to your own desktop? Shocked, fear, terrorised, humiliated (somehow), and so on, you name it. But yes, it’s a nightmare! A lady who experienced this had brought a lawsuit against her telecommunication provider for allegedly revealing the content of her private communication to a third party.

Read the news report here. This particular lawsuit is the first that could trigger the provisions of Personal Data Protection Act 2010. Since the case proceeding has not started yet, nothing much can be heard from the case. Hopefully we can hear more updates in near future.

Meanwhile, the telecommunications company involved had issued a statement that they would carry out an investigation relating to the said allegation. Read the statement here.

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:

  • Your personal data contained in the electoral rolls, taxpayers database under the Inland Revenue system Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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