Gobind: Ministry needs to send out clear signal on the importance of data safety

Gobind said his ministry is paying attention to the number of data breach incidents that has been reported in Malaysia so far. — YAP CHEE HONG/The Star

Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo said a clear message needs to be delivered on the importance of securing user data in the digital space.

Gobind added that as his ministry is looking into tightening and strengthening the current Personal Data Protection Act 2010 (PDPA), he is aware of concerns about the number of data breach incidents reported in Malaysia so far.

"This matter definitely has my attention and I'm putting major focus on it. My ministry is in the process of tightening the law so we can give out a clear signal that data security needs to be guaranteed," he said during an interview at the Maxis Business Spark Summit in Kuala Lumpur today.

Gobind believes that if there are any issues related to a data breach, stern action needs to be taken.

"We have to show that we are serious about preventing data breaches and we have to be strict about enforcing the law."

According to Gobind, data security and protection should be guaranteed for Malaysians as the country moves toward the digital era.

"If we want to ask more Malaysians to be a part of digital technology such as e-commerce and so on, we have to encourage them to use the Internet to expand their business. We also have to give them guarantee that their data will be safe. We are paying attention to that."

In October, a series of data breach incidents involving a public university and two different ministries has been reported in the media. Gobind declined to comment further on any specific cases as he is still awaiting a full report on the matter.

"The matter is still under investigation. I don't want to comment until I have all the facts," Gobind said, adding that he will make an announcement on PDPA amendments later.

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