PUTRAJAYA: The Cabinet has approved the proposed amendments to the Personal Data Protection Act 2010 (Act 709), and they are expected to be tabled in the current Parliament session, says Gobind Singh Deo.

In a statement Thursday (July 4), the Digital Minister emphasised that these amendments are vital to ensure that Malaysia’s personal data protection legislation aligns with global standards, changes, and legal developments.

“The proposed amendments to Act 709 aim to enhance policies, particularly in terms of security and enforcement, to address issues of personal data breaches and misuse in Malaysia,” he said.

Gobind highlighted that key proposals for amending Act 709 include mandatory notification of personal data breaches, additional compliance responsibilities for data processors, and the appointment of Data Protection Officers.

Other proposals involve introducing the right to data portability for data subjects and abolishing the requirement to designate specific locations for transferring personal data outside Malaysia.

“In drafting the proposed amendments to Act 709, the Office of the Personal Data Protection (PDP) Commissioner also considered input and views from various stakeholders through multiple engagement sessions,” he said.

He noted that statistics show a 5.1% increase in the number of complaints received from October 2023 to March 2024.

During that period, the PDP received 322 complaints regarding the misuse and breach of personal data.

“In the fourth quarter of 2023, 157 complaints were received, while 165 complaints were received in the first quarter of 2024.

“Specifically, the statistics for personal data breaches show a significant increase of 41% in 2024 compared to 2023,” he said.

Gobind added that according to the National Scam Response Centre statistics, 34,497 online fraud cases resulting in RM1.218bil losses were reported nationwide last year.

“Based on the 2023 statistics, telecommunications crime cases such as SMS contest, online impersonation, and phone call scams were among the highest recorded, with 10,348 cases involving losses of RM352.9mil,” he said.

The Second Meeting of the Third Session of the 15th Parliament will convene from June 24 to July 18. – Bernama