Developing Privacy-Friendly Mobile Apps: Takeaways for Mobile Developers

By: Sonny Zulhuda

Image credit: computerworld.com

Image credit: computerworld.com (click on the image for full display)

This week (28th Aug) I will be participating in a national event dedicated for the modern digital lifestyle in Malaysia, named KL CONVERGE! which runs from 27th-29th August 2015 at Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC) in the heart of the Malaysia’s capital. Visit the site here: http://www.klconverge.my/.

As the site highlights, KL CONVERGE! is a multi-platform digital content and creative industry event showcasing the world’s latest achievements and opportunities in the music, film, gaming and Internet space. It seeks to provide an immersive experience to show “how technology and content is an everyday part of our lives.” The event is bringing together leading industry executives from multimedia, applications, Internet and creative content to discuss, deliberate, showcase and celebrate the issues, opportunities and successes in digital space.

I have a honour to be part of the event to speak about key privacy issues for mobile apps developers – thanks to my friends and partners at the Data Protection Academy (DPA) LLP (Noris and Eddie). The discussion will reflect the new legal landscape brought about by the Personal Data Protection Act 2010 that concern mobile apps designers and developers. It’s this Friday, 28th August 2015 at 4.00PM (not one of the best time to listen a talk – sigh) at Room 306 KLCC Convention Hall. It is adjacent to the majestic Petronas twin tower, and it is a free admission event 😉 (ugh.. still..) (*_*)

In the one-hour talk, I will demonstrate the salient features of the data privacy laws in Malaysia and the emerging global trend, especially concerning the users/consumers of mobile apps. Issues such as data collection, notification and retention will be touched. Not less importantly will be the issue of personal data security that each mobile apps developer will have to consider when they decide to retain users’ personally identifiable information (PII). But on top of all those, I am posing a big question: “Should you ever collect the users’ personal information at all?” — I am at the moment finalising my presentation and will share here the key points in due course. See you there, if you make it:)

“Mirror mirror on FB Wall… Should you comment of them all?!”

(CASE CHAT ON ONLINE DEFAMATION)

By Sonny Zulhuda

ImageThe online wall that you have on your Facebook or other social networking sites is not like a wall in your private bedroom where you can always at your own freedom stick things from your own photos to class schedules, to your favorite Football Club posters. Those things would remain as your “private’ enjoyment and view.

But things that you, or others, post on your social networking sites wall is not private. There are people who share such wall and are ready to read your posts every time you have something new.

So this is a rather common-sense thing; just be careful, mindful and.. don’t do fool!

Let me just share with you this incident:

“Retiree to pay RM100,000 over FB posts

It was reported by the Star on October 1st, 2011, that a retiree from Penang has been ordered by a High Court here to pay a total of RM100,000 in damages and costs to a private automotive technology training centre where his son had studied over three defamatory postings on Facebook.

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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.

Invasion of Privacy in Malaysia: A surgery turns sour!

By: Sonny Zulhuda

This is particularly a court decision that will attract many who are curious about law on invasion of privacy in Malaysia. The timing could not be more intriguing that now when the first privacy-related legislation was recently passed in the form of the Personal Data Protection Act 2010. No, this Act was not in the case (yet?), not even possibly so because the Act is still now not enforced. This case was instead dealt with under the civil law of torts.

As reported by the Sun Daily (3/9/2010), Judicial Commissioner Chew Soo Ho who sit in Penang High Court heard this suit brought about by a female writer against the doctors who were involved in a haemorrhoid surgery back in 2006. The point of concern was the fact that a doctor had taken photographs of her private parts while she was unconscious — without getting her prior consent.

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