Friday, November 20, 2009

Private Data Protection

Private data is the information on a person's privacy or personal identification information. There is still little private data protection in many countries, where private data are flying everywhere without restriction. They ask for your personal details even for little things, retain your identification cards, and even country at the border pass retain your passport...

Private data involve the right to protect a personal privacy, the data of privacy and identification. Wikipedia defined private data protection as
"Information privacy, or data privacy is the relationship between collection and dissemination of data, technology, the public expectation of privacy, and the legal and political issues surrounding them".

No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

—Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 12

What are the types of private data? They are financial, medical, lifestyle, political. The latest private data issue, is the IT security on private data in Internet. The e-mail, facebook, and other IT communication channel.

Privacy concerns exist wherever personally identifiable information is collected and stored - in digital form or otherwise. Improper or non-existent disclosure control can be the root cause for privacy issues. Data privacy issues can arise in response to information from a wide range of sources, such as:

* Healthcare records
* Criminal justice investigations and proceedings
* Financial institutions and transactions
* Biological traits, such as genetic material
* Residence and geographic records
* Ethnicity

The challenge in data privacy is to share data while protecting personally identifiable information. The fields of data security and information security design and utilize software, hardware and human resources to address this issue.

Why Data Protection is important?

In Malaysia,there is still no legal protection on private data, our private data information can be obtained easily and disseminate to others. The requirement of detail particulars for contest , competition, survey are one of the easy way the commercial enterprise obtain the private information. They can sell the private information for a fee to either marketing organization or advertisement agencies.

There are many ways of private information abuses in Malaysia, one of it is credit card companies and financial institution. When you terminate the financial relationship with them, do they cancel and destroy all your private financial information? The private information on printout will probably end up with Kacang Putih man; any person with the malicious intention to obtain private information can obtain from the secondary sources easily.

Another source of private database is in government department and agencies, which is the largest. I wonder whether the staff have the high awareness of private data protection for the citizen.

Another source is the surveying houses, which are the one who organize competition and survey to obtain data. They obtain all information for their client with a fee. Avoid enter into competition or survey where it require personal details, all your information will be captured into their database for future usage. Their paper hard copies(application forms & surveying forms) will usually end up with recycle man.

The most dangerous source however is the Internet, your e-mail, your storage, your other communication channels, your web sites are rich sources of private data for others to capture.

So our private data protection is still weak, and our awareness is also equally weak. So, beware.... someone may be using your private data for commercial purpose, or even criminal purpose.... and worst not within the national boundary, with the internet it may be is serious matter, where many people in the developing countries are still did not know their right of protection. The right for private data protection.

It is high time we have private data protection law.....

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