I was featured in The Malaysian Digest’s article entitled “Here’s What You Should Know The Next Time Someone Asks For Your MyKad” on 22 February 2018.
If Your Identity Is Stolen, It May Be Difficult To Prove Your Innocence
Although the Private Data Protection Act 2010 (PDPA) that protects our data, which is collected for commercial purposes, from being misused by third parties has been enacted, there are limits to how far the law can protect us especially when our data is collected for non-commercial purposes, which is unregulated and open to abuse.
Foong Cheng Leong, founder of law firm Foong Cheng Leong & Co., relayed that when you simply give out your IC number to anyone asking, you are liable to have more of your information to be collected and can be used for social engineering such as creating a complete profile about you.
“With a complete profile, one can use it to obtain certain things like services, access to bank accounts, mobile numbers, financial information, email, buildings and further information etc.
“One can also use that profile to obtain information of another person e.g. a person close to you, for example, your spouse’s personal information,” he said.
And when our personal data and identity gets stolen, it may not be easy to prove and it will depend on the circumstances.
“But one would have to go through a difficult process of being investigated. He may be arrested, remanded, have his computers and mobile devices ceased, privacy invaded etc.” he said.
Although he has not had any cases involving IC number, he has come across cases involving the misuse of identity.
“I had one case where the employee was charged in Court under the Computer Crimes Act 1997 for unauthorised modification of content.
“His office account and internet account were used to delete a database of his employer. Fortunately, we managed to prove that it was not him who did it,” he said.
Foong also said that cases of identity theft are not just a few in the country, as he shared the most well-known case which is the case of Adorna Properties Sdn Bhd v Boonsom Boonyanit.
“The land owner lost her land after it was fraudulently transferred to a third party and subsequently sold to a bona fide purchaser – see https://asklegal.my/p/boonsom-boonyanit-adorna-properties-indefeasible-title-national-land-code-1. Note that the position of this law has changed – see http://www.skrine.com/better-late-than-never,” he shared.
He said that the best way to protect our data is by ensuring that it is always secure and that we control the circulation of our data.