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Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Philippines and data privacy

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Data privacy and security is a somewhat new issue in SE Asia. It has been on the radar for a while and countries have slowly been putting in place various levels of protection, with the expectation of a regional system, perhaps under the AEC. Now a massive data hack just before the recent Philippines’ election has raised major concerns. The leak exposed names, birthdays, addresses, emails, parents’ names and passport details for millions of voters. Security experts had to be called in to verify no harm to the poll had occurred.  Manwhile millions of Filipinos now live in fear of having their online lives compromised.

There is concern that SEA countries are not equipped with security strong enough to deal with serious hacks. This determined to steal private data target the weakest links and that means many SE Asian nations.  Taking security measures (anti-virus and other systems) is one part of the solution, but this has cost attached to it. So unless this is made obligatory by strong data privacy laws, the belief is that the whole region remains vulnerable.

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