Privacy issues in the new normal


New Normal: Graham says the Covid-19 pandemic is creating a need for contact tracing which requires a thorough management of public spaces.

PETALING JAYA: Data privacy and how it is being handled are among some of the upcoming issues that governments would need to tackle moving forward as the world adapts to the new normal.

This is because the Covid-19 pandemic is creating a need for contact tracing which requires a thorough management of public spaces, according to PwC Malaysia’s chief digital officer Michael Graham.

“The question is how do we encourage trust (in the system). Individuals need to trust the system and it has to establish the right to have earned this trust, ” Graham told StarBiz.

“The (community) needs to have trust that their data privacy will be respected. The aggregated data which the smart city mechanism captures isn’t sold to the private sector.

“(This data) has to be looked after responsibly and safely, ” he added.

With this, Graham said there will be other matters for the government to tackle such as how to deploy such a system safely and which contractors to pick when developing such a system.

“There is certainly a desire to manage public spaces or commuter routes more effectively. It is to enable the necessary precautions for contract tracing with the Covid-19, ” Graham said.

This, he said is necessary, so that information can be acted on more intelligently.

“For example, we can then be smarter about which floor of a building that we need to deep clean as opposed to deep cleaning the whole building following the discovery of a Covid-19 infection, ” he said.

Graham also said that the public today appears to be more prepared and exposed to the benefits of a more digital way of life.

“The general readiness of the public must include businesses and government being ready to accept digitisation through apps like My Sejahtera. This is a big opportunity for smart cities to leverage on this openness from the public, ” he said. “Governments need to look at various areas of legislation, regulation and policy. Individuals and businesses will need clarity on what it means when using artificial intelligence.”

He said data usage, privacy and ethics need to be examined, understood and assimilated.

Graham will soon be speaking at the #digitalXdata 2020 Live Virtual Conference which will be held on 1 - 4 Dec and organised by Star Media Group.

He will be delivering a keynote presentation titled "In Cities We Trust: A Smart Investment for the Future" and will moderate the Smart City keynote industry panel discussion.

The conference aims to unlock answers in solving business challenges and uncovering growth opportunities by redesigning data-driven digital future.

It will showcase market outlook & forecasts for the year 2021 and beyond on technology, digital and analytics in various industries.

digitalXdata 2020 is organised by Star Media Group Bhd with Fusionex as Exabyte Partner and Boston Consulting Group, Ernst & Young, Frost & Sullivan, Ipsos, Kantar, McKinsey and PwC as Knowledge Partners.

Registration is free. For more information, visit bit.ly/digitalxdata2020
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