Stricter data protection law in the works


THE government is studying for a stricter data protection law to better protect consumers and equip the country against the rising digital thefts and hacking.

Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo (picture) said the existing Personal Data Protection Act 2010 needs to be reviewed as new challenges and threats have emerged from the rapid technological advancements.

“We have had the Act since 2010, but technology has changed rapidly over the years. We have new challenges and threats that need to be looked at.

“Europe has introduced the General Data Protection Regulation. In Malaysia, we are studying to amend the law to strengthen and make it stricter,” Gobind said at the inaugural Maxis Business SPARK Summit 2019, organised by Maxis Bhd in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

Gobind said his ministry takes data protection matters seriously and is looking at various aspects of the law review.

“The ministry is in the process of studying how to tighten the law because data is important and data security needs to be guaranteed,” he said.

The Malaysian Reserve (TMR) had reported that there are 178 cases of data breach to date, almost a 200% jump than the recorded 63 attacks last year, according to data from the Malaysian Computer Emergency Response Team of CyberSecurity Malaysia.

In 2017, only 19 cases were reported, and Malaysia has seen the incidents continuing to persist as hackers are becoming increasingly advanced.

However, a cyber security expert said the figure is much higher as there are many unreported incidents as well.

CyberSecurity Malaysia CEO Datuk Dr Amirudin Abdul Wahab told TMR that the agency has proposed a heavier penalty against data breach offenders and companies that fail to safeguard their customers’ data, as incidents of digital theft and hacking continue to cause panic among consumers.

On a separate matter, Gobind said the government will focus on improving the quality of content in digital broadcasting after the country has fully switched from analogue to digital transmission.

He said the transition to a full digital broadcasting would allow for new channels and content.

He added that an announcement on the second phase of the digital broadcasting initiative will be made by year-end.

Themed “Igniting Innovation”, the day-long Maxis Business SPARK Summit 2019 provided an in-depth look at the exponential advancement in technology and disruptive innovation for businesses and digital lifestyle.

Maxis CEO Gokhan Ogut said the company saw great potential and opportunities for Malaysia to become a technology leader, not only in the region, but also in the world.

Meanwhile, the telecommunication company’s chief enterprise business officer Paul McManus said there has been a rapid adoption of the Internet of Things (IoT), particularly in the transport, logistics and agriculture sectors in the country.

McManus said the group targets to triple the size of its enterprise segment in five years, largely driven by greater take-up of IoT solutions.