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20 November 2009

Personal data protection bill tabled in Parliament

The Personal Data Protection Bill 2009 aimed at protecting public interests with regard to processing personal data was tabled in the Dewan Rakyat on Thursday.

In tabling the bill for the first reading, Deputy Information Communication and Culture Minister Datuk Joseph Salang Gandum said the bill consisted of 146 clauses and 11 sections.

The bill, among others, is aimed at regulating personal data processing in commercial transactions by users to protect the owners, and as such, protect their interest, he said.

According to the bill, as new technology and changes in market trend contributed to the growing importance of knowledge in the global economy, personal data in commercial transaction was becoming a valuable commodity.

This adds pressure in regulating data processing in efforts to enhance consumers’ confidence in the global economy.

The bill provides for the appointment of a personal data protection commissioner and the setting up of an advisory committee to advise the commissioner on the enforcement of the Act.

A tribunal will also be set up under the bill to enable offenders to appeal against decisions made by the commissioner.

The second section of the bill spells out provisions on personal data protection.

Among them, Section 5(1) states that personal data processing must adhere to the personal data protection principles, namely the general, notice, choice, due diligence, security, storage, integrity and access principles.

A personal data user faces imprisonment up to two years jail or a fine up to RM300,000 or both, if convicted under the Act. -- Bernama

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