The Malaysia Personal Data Protection Bill

In TheStar’s pullout of InTech today, there was an article about the personal data protection bill. It’s about the protection of our personal information requested by companies, religious bodies, political parties and charitable organisations that engage in business. In short, commercially driven businesses.

What is considered personal data information?

  • Name
  • Age
  • Home address
  • Photo & Video captured by CCTV
  • IC/Passport number

At least that’s the list mentioned in the article. However, I’m surprised to not find mobile or email included. Bummer. Plus, shouldn’t photo and video be covered under all electronic devices? Or, is blackmailing some person with their naked body on mobiles and webcams not considered under this bill? Hmm.

How can it protect my personal data information?

  • Companies or the requesting parties for your information must inform you how they intend to use your information.
  • Consumers have the right to contact the party who spammed you to check what was the last product/service you purchased from them that your personal data was given.

What happens if they didn’t comply?

Those found guilty of contravening the rules could be fined a sum not exceeding RM200,000 or be jailed for a period not exceeding two years, or both.

Source: InTech article.

How will this affect my business and data mining?

Well, every website’s going to need a privacy policy if you’re collecting any personal information. The statement which says your information will not be sold to any third party is commonly in there.

And if you don’t want to be a legal hard*ss, then clearly state what this information will be used for then. I don’t believe it’ll take you more than 1 paragraph to summarize it.

My added opinion on personal data.

But now I’m thinking, are Malaysians even educated enough about the personal data they should be sharing? For example, have you tried Googling your name and notice what personal information comes up?

And again, email and mobile numbers are becoming very valuable information. Is it included into this bill? If it wasn’t, why not?

Clients I’ve worked with want to collect as much personal data about their visitors. What are their intended use? Beats me. However, time and time again I’ve educated my clients that no one’s going to give you the data you want without something of equal value.

Now, I’ve been proven wrong as some visitors do give all the requested information. *slaps forehead* But I foresee this is because the visitor themselves aren’t well educated on personal data. To them, it’s brand-X therefore I don’t have to worry.

Well, truth be told, rumors have it some telcos are pawning our personal data. Whether it’s a myth or not, I’ll leave it to you to find out.

Just be more concerned about your personal information. Ask yourself, how is this data I’m giving related to why I’m giving it? Is it to win a prize? Is it to download something – most common for Internet marketers?

Once you master this, you’d be smarter than to fall for the “Maybank2u needs your username and password now!” :)

So, do you think email and mobile numbers should be included into the personal data protection bill?

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