FreeMalaysiaToday

Making MySejahtera compulsory raises privacy, connectivity concerns, say experts

I was asked by FreeMalaysiaToday to comment on Malaysian Government’s plan to make MySejahtera, a contact tracing mobile application, compulsory in tracing people’s movements. The Malaysian Government has said it is considering making the use of the MySejahtera mandatory and doing away with the manual registration of personal data when people access public places.

Meanwhile, a privacy lawyer, Foong Cheng Leong, said the government should ensure that the data collected would only be used for contact tracing and related purposes.

He also wanted a timeline to be set for the data collected to be destroyed.

Foong called for accountability if there was misuse of the data by anyone, including civil servants.

He also raised the issue of the app’s accessibility as not everyone had a smart phone that could have the MySejahtera app installed.

Similarly, he said, not every business in Malaysia would be capable of generating the QR code to be used for the app. “Manual registration must remain to cater to a certain segment of the people.”

He added: “Instead of forcing people to use it, the government should give incentives to those who use the app. A RM50 e-wallet credit to users is a good way.”

Don’t misuse private info in Covid-19 apps, Putrajaya urged

I was quoted by FreeMalaysiaToday regarding the collection of data by the Government through from people using official mobile application aimed at efforts to curb Covid-19. I said-

A lawyer specialising in privacy laws has urged the government to regulate the collection of data from people using official apps for mobile phones aimed at efforts to curb Covid-19.

Putrajaya should review existing laws on data collection, and should set out the steps taken to protect private information provided by users, says lawyer Foong Cheng Leong.

It was necessary to make sure that the information is used only to deal with infectious diseases “and not for other purposes like political campaigning or police investigations for other crimes,” he said.

Punishments should be set out for those who misuse the data, and there should be provisions to guarantee redress for those harmed by the abuse of the data.

Yesterday the health minister launched the MySejahtera app which allows users to perform health self-assessments, monitor their health and enables the health ministry to also monitor the user’s health.

Two other apps, to trace contacts of infected people, are also being developed separately.

Foong said public health and safety should take precedence during a pandemic. However, there was a need to review existing laws to regulate data collection.

“Any laws passed should take into account the rights of the data subject,” he said.

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