Monthly Archives: November 2011

Personal Data Protection Act to be introduced next year

By LOH FOON FONG
foonfong@thestar.com.my

KUALA LUMPUR: The long awaited Personal Data Protection Act 2010 will be enforced next year.

Information, Communications and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim said the Ministry was in the process of getting “the right personnel with the right expertise” to set up the Personal Data Protection Department.

The Act was gazetted into law in June last year.

Dr Rais said the Act, when enforced, would safeguard people’s personal information from being abused by organisations that collect and process personal data of individuals.

He said this after the Get Malaysian Business Online (GMBO) launch Tuesday.

[Source: The Star Newspaper]

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Protection for your personal data

This is an interesting article from Singapore’ Straits Times regarding the collection of personal data by building owners. Whether the Malaysian Personal Data Protection Act 2010 (“PDPA”) will apply to building owners in respect of such processing is a moot point but I take the view that the PDPA is not applicable as such collection is not in respect of a commercial transaction. However, the subsequent use of the personal data for commercial use will be caught by the PDPA.

Source: Straits Times
Author: Irene Tham

It is common for security guards at condominiums or other buildings to ask visitors to hand over their identity cards to gain entry.

The practice likely started out as a safeguard in case a visitor commits a crime or sabotage.

Some building owners record a visitor’s name, contact details and identity card number in a log book or computer system, while others hold on to the card in exchange for a visitor’s pass.

But tweaks to this system will be needed once a new data protection law kick in, which could be as early as next year.

The Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts (Mica) told The Sunday Times this consumer privacy law – primarily to deter irresponsible marketers – will also apply to commercial and private building owners.

A Mica spokesman acknowledged that building owners and managements may not have proper data collection and handling processes in place yet. But when the law applies, organisations including commercial and private buildings, must have ‘the necessary processes for the collection, use, disclosure and disposal of personal data’.

Personal data includes names, identity card numbers and contact details.

Managers of buildings or estates must also specify how visitors’ data will be used at the point of collection.

A new Data Protection Commission will investigate complaints of misuse and fine offending parties, with the proposed maximum fine being a hefty $1 million.

Engineer Ngiam Shih Tung said: ‘Retaining identity cards in exchange for visitor passes is a bad practice. Who will be responsible if an identity card is lost?’

Some years ago, he said, his identity card ended up with someone else when soldiers signed out of his army camp.

The Security Industry Regulatory Department, a unit of the Singapore Police Force, does not provide security agencies with guidelines on the retention or scanning of identity cards.

Even after the new data protection law kicks in, this practice of surrendering identity cards to gain entry to premises will still be allowed. But the law will make organisations more accountable for the information they collect.

‘While security officers at buildings, condominiums and other premises are not authorised by the National Registration Regulations to retain a visitor’s IC, it is not illegal for them to do so if the visitor authorises them to hold the IC as a condition for entry or in exchange for a visitor’s pass,’ said a police spokesman.

‘This is a private matter between the parties concerned.’

Building owners and security companies The Sunday Times spoke to said they will review their systems when more details of the new law are available.

Keppel Land – which manages commercial buildings like Ocean Financial Centre, Equity Plaza, Keppel Towers, Bugis Junction Towers and Prudential Tower – makes use of barcode scanning to capture identity card details.

The card is then returned to the visitor. The guards at its buildings also type into a computer the visitor’s name and the location being visited.

‘The information is stored in a system which tracks repeated visits,’ said a Keppel Land spokesman.

Security company Chambers International, which manages about 160 condominiums, does not retain visitors’ identity cards but logs the details in a book. Such books are stored for at least two years.

Its spokesman said it will talk to each condo’s council members to decide what needs to be done when the new law kicks in.

Professor Abu Bakar Munir, an information and communications technology law expert at the University of Malaya’s law faculty, said: ‘People should not be required to give up their ICs just to visit a family in an apartment. A name and mobile number will suffice.’

Source: Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Ltd.

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MDeC To Unveil IP Valuation Model In 2012

By Dalila Abu Bakar and Nur Adila Abd Wahab

CYBERJAYA, Nov 18 (Bernama) – The Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC) is striving for Intellectual Property (IP) rights to be accepted as assets or collateral through the IP valuation model which is set to be introduced in the first quarter of next year.

MDeC chief operating officer Ng Wan Peng said currently there is no collectively acceptable IP valuation framework which financial institutions can adhere to when processing applications for financial assistance.

She said financial institutions are reluctant to accept IP as assets or collateral because of the difficulty in determining the value of Intellectual Property.

Ng said the introduction of the IP valuation model is the first step taken in assisting financial institutions to refer to a specific methodology in valuing IP rights.

MDeC, the driver of MSC Malaysia’s National ICT Initiative, is working very closely with Intellectual Property Corporation of Malaysia (MyIPO) in getting the necessary approvals for the IP valuation model.

At the 22nd MSC Malaysia Implementation Council Meeting (ICM), organised by MDeC last year and chaired by the Prime Minister, it was decided that MyIPO should formulate an IP valuation model in accordance with the National IP Policy, she said.

Since then MDeC and MyIPO, together with other stakeholders, have been collaborating in preparing an introductory IP valuation framework that looks into the different types of IP rights. MDeC and MyIPO are confident that the framework would be ready and be tested with a few IP owners soon.

“More needs to be done as it is a new area and not many have experience in this. We must start getting the financial institutions to value IP rights as something of high value. Educating and increasing the level of awareness is necessary in order to ensure more people understand and appreciate IP,” Ng told Bernama in an interview.

Ng revealed that hundreds of MSC Malaysia-status small-and-medium enterprises (SMEs) that possess IP rights such as patents, copyrights and trademarks are facing difficulties in getting financial assistance to commercialise their products.

“More than 1,000 SMEs with MSC Malaysia status have IP rights which range from patents to trademarks, copyrights and industrial designs. Not all need financial assistance to commercialise their products but most of them will be happy to have some kind of recognition that the IP created by them actually has value,” she said.

According to Ng, the IP valuation model could serve as a guide for the financial institutions as well as stakeholders in conducting valuation or use it as a basis to get third party valuators to undertake the valuation process.

Ng said IP owners, financial institutions and Bank Negara have provided input for the valuation initiative for the IP. MyIPO together with MDeC had conducted feedback sessions with some financial institutions, industry players as well as IP owners to make them understand this area better as well as share their concerns in the valuation of IP rights.

“We are happy with the cooperation provided by the parties involved in this IP valuation initiative. MyIPO has been working hard in driving this initiative including looking at the amendments of the IP laws to allow the adoption of IP rights as security,” she said.

Although the government has been promoting an innovation and knowledge-based economy, support from financial institutions is not forthcoming as they find it very difficult to accept IP rights as a collateralisable asset.

“I think they are more comfortable in giving out the loan based on business plans on tangible assets or proven business rather than looking at IP as collateral. It’s not that they don’t want to value the IP, the problem is that they don’t know how to value IP rights,” she said.

“We do not see financial institutions keen in readily accepting IP as collateral at this moment. We were told by some companies, most of them SMEs, that they have difficulties in getting banks to recognise their IP rights,” she added.

Ng said the ultimate goal of the IP valuation initiative is for IP rights to be recognised by financial institutions as an asset that can be put up as collateral.

“These are also opportunities for the banks. Financial institutions have to start developing capability in these areas as more and more companies will have less and less tangible assets. In becoming more competitive, financial institutions would need to know how to value intangible assets and put a defensible value that can mitigate the perceived risk attached to assets such as IP.

“Eventually, we hope that local companies will continue to create IP which will be accepted as an asset that can be transacted and thus help increase our competitiveness as a nation,” she said.

— BERNAMA

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Penang passes Freedom of Information Bill

GEORGE TOWN: The Penang State Assembly passed the Freedom of Information Bill Friday.

Twenty-four assemblymen voted for the bill, two were against while 14 representatives were absent.

A recount of votes was conducted three times before the bill was finally approved by the Speaker Datuk Abdul Halim Hussain.

The bill allows the public access to state documents.

Source: The Star

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