Police investigating call to protect MySejahtera data from abuse

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Photograph by Geralt/Pixabay

Galen Centre for Health and Social Policy’s Chief Executive Azrul Mohd Khalib was called to police headquarters in Bukit Aman on 1 July.

A police report was lodged last year against a tweet expressing concern regarding the use of MySejahtera data in law enforcement.

“Last year, the government made a strong commitment to reassure the Malaysian public that their privacy, personal data protection and security concerns were unfounded, that they could be trusted in keeping our data safe and that the use of MySejahtera would be limited,” said Azrul Mohd Khalib, CEO of the Galen Centre for Health And Social Policy.

“It was specifically mentioned that the data collected by MySejahtera would be treated as confidential medical data under the Medical Act 1971.

“We remain steadfast in our commitment to raising concerns related to the use, protection and security of personal and medical data, especially during the Covid-19 public health emergency. We should be unafraid to keep the authorities on their toes and to hold them to the highest standards and integrity,” he said.

“We are reminded that although the federal government is exempted from compliance to the Personal Data Protection Act 2010 (PDPA), the Ministry of Health has repeatedly assured Malaysians that it would protect the privacy of users’ data on MySejahtera.

“While the development of MySejahtera was well-intentioned, it is not impervious to the vulnerabilities, limitations, and the potential for misuse which have affected similar Covid-19 related applications in other countries. Constant vigilance is needed, not just of Covid-19 but also of the measures which are being utilised in this pandemic.”

On 12 November, according to news reports, Mohamad Zain A Hamid, chairperson of the Sepang District Disaster Management Committee, had stated that the police would utilise MySejahtera registrations to track down 400 residents of Medan 88, Bandar Baru Salak Tinggi, Sepang. The area was under an enhanced movement control order from 12 to 25 November.

Azrul’s alleged tweet on 13 November called such use of MySejahtera data an abuse and encouraged people to adopt a healthy suspicion and be protective of their personal data.

He is being investigated under Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act (CMA) 1998 and Section 505(b) of the Penal Code.

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