Fahmi to table Personal Data Protection Act amendments by year end

Communications and Digital Minister Fahmi Fadzil says fines for personal data breaches are out of date and do not fit the current times. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, January 25, 2023.

THE draft amendment to the Personal Data Protection Act 2010 to curb personal data breaches is expected to be presented in parliament before the end of this year, Communications and Digital Minister Fahmi Fadzil said.

According to Fahmi, the personal data protection department is currently looking at several improvements prepared by the previous government before the draft is sent to the Attorney-General’s Chambers.

“We are looking at several additions on new aspects that are reasonable and applicable, which can be included as well,” he said in Kuala Lumpur today.

Fahmi said the amendments will examine mandatory notification of breaches and increasing fines or penalties for companies misusing data.

He said he was disappointed that since 2017, the average fine imposed on 25 companies known to have leaked data was on average only RM24,000.

“These are disappointing figures, especially when data breaches amounted to thousands or tens of thousands.

“These are fines from 15 years back, and do not necessarily fit current times,” he said.

Meanwhile, he said the Communications and Digital Ministry was also planning to make the department a statutory body to ensure it has enough resources to combat the issue of personal data leaks.

“If we want to develop the digital economy, we cannot be reliant on one entity only, the department must be improved for it to have more manpower in terms of enforcement and so on,” he said.

Fahmi also said the ministry was constantly looking for avenues to curb the menace of cyber scams, including discussions with telecommunication service providers.

Meanwhile, he said measures to enhance digital literacy will also continue to be implemented to raise public awareness of cyber fraud.

He said there are more than 14 types of cyber scams, and scammers were always looking for other methods once their activities are discovered. – Bernama, January 25, 2023.

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