By: Sonny Zulhuda
A close forum named Focus Group Discussion (FGD) on IPR and Open Data in the Digital Environment was recently held on 9th November 2018 at Al-Nawawi Conference Room, Ahmad Ibrahim Kuliyyah of Law, International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM). The event was involving two universities from two countries which are the International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) and Universitas Padjadjaran (UNPAD), Indonesia.
In his welcoming remarks, the Dean of Ahmad Ibrahim Kuliyyah of Laws, Prof. Dato’ Sri Dr. Ashgar Ali Ali Mohamed extended his gratitude and warm welcome to the delegations from UNPAD. He believed that this two-way discussion should be conducted more regularly in promoting the intellectual discourse between two countries. In a reciprocal gesture, Prof Dr H Ahmad M. Ramli from the Faculty of Law, UNPAD in his keynote address appreciated the initiative by IIUM in conducting this group discussion.
This FGD was part of the research work under the Fundamental Research Grant Scheme, funded by the Ministry of Education, Malaysia. The group discussion was divided into 4 sessions, involving 11 speakers altogether; 7 from UNPAD and 4 from IIUM. Here are some excerpts:
Session 1: IPR Between Tradition and Innovation Continue reading “Intellectual Property Rights and Open Data in the Digital Environment”
By: Sonny Zulhuda
Open government is the notion that allows transparency of governments in running matters pertinent to public interests. According to that concept, the government shall allow its citizens an access to government documents and a right to obtaining information relating to public matters.
In Malaysia recently, the Open Government initiative was represented in the Public Sector Open Data Portal programme which was launched in September 2015 by MAMPU, a Unit under the Prime Minister’s Department. It declares that the aim of such initiative is to open and share government data to public and hence to enhance transparency and efficiency of government and to create a digital innovativeness.
With this background, the question of how the Government deals with the increasing demand of freedom of information and other challenges ranging from personal data to the government data security is worth examining. I was invited to talk about this at an international conference hosted by Sydney Cyber Security Network, the University of Sydney, Australia. In my presentation, I highlighted a recent initiative of open data in Malaysian public sector and the related challenges on data security, privacy and information surveillance.
I was also looking at the recent developments in Malaysia relating to the enactment of personal data protection law and recent policies relating to critical infrastructure protection. Lessons from cases and incidents surrounding information security and personal data breaches were discussed to trigger discussions on relevant solutions and best practice.
Among the key summary of my talk in Sydney was as following:
- Open Government is underway, but more economically-motivated and narrowly looked at “open data”. A long way to the “open government”.
- Cyber security governance enhances the security of data in the Malaysian cyberspace. However:
- There is a striking imbalance in the legal framework between the protection of secret on one hand, and the freedom of information on the other.
- The data privacy law boosts the transparency in the private & commercial sector, but it is a missed opportunity for an open government.
- The open government initiative needs to be supported as national agenda, to be backed by a stronger law and national policy.