Revisiting the Right to Privacy in the Digital Age: A Quest to Strengthen the Malaysian Data Protection Regime

                                Md Toriqul Islam, Abu Bakar Munir, Mohammad Ershadul Karim

The world goes through diverse privacy dilemmas, particularly after the discovery of Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) in the 1960s. It can be argued that such a scenario will continue in the future, as the vast majority of our works are done online using personal data. Perceivably, in the future, our online activities will increase, being facilitated by the pace, efficiency, accuracy of borderless connectivity and commercial engagement of the ICTs. Invariably, we are being captured on cameras, monitored and identified by numerous public and private actors, and all these lead to threats to our privacy. There is no one-size-fits-all solution to privacy problems due to the inefficiency of the regulatory measures and the pace of the growth of ICTs. These realities lead researchers across the globe to revisit the notion of ‘privacy and data protection’ to strike a balance between privacy invasion and enforcement. Malaysia is no exception. Nonetheless, there is no in-depth analysis of the adequacy of the current data protection regime in Malaysia. This article aims to fill that gap by revisiting the concepts of ‘privacy’ and ‘data protection’ and analysing the extensive literature in the field, keeping the Malaysian data protection regime in a special focus. The findings of this study reveal that in some respects, the data protection regime of Malaysia falls short of the global data protection standard. This study suggests that to strengthen the data protection regime of Malaysia, the policymakers may consider amending the Personal Data Protection Act 2010 (PDPA) to make it in line with the international data protection standards and especially, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

*PhD Candidate, Faculty of Law, University of Malaya; Assistant Professor, Department of Law and Justice, Bangladesh University of Business and Technology (BUBT).
** Retired Professor of Law, Faculty of Law, University of Malaya.
*** Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Law, University of Malaya.

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