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The Singapore Personal Data Protection Act: An Assessment

Speaker : Professor Abu Bakar Munir
University of Malaya Malaysian Centre of Regulatory Studies (UMCoRS)
Date : 27 February 2013, Wednesday
10.00am – 12.00pm
Venue : Lee Sheridan Conference Room, Eu Tong Sen Building, NUS (BTC)
Fee : Free


Singapore has joined the ‘club’ of countries that have comprehensive data protection legal regime. Its Parliament passed the Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA) on 15 October 2012. Two main factors that motivated the Government to initiate the Act are: the consumer/public as well as economic interests in order to protect personal data and to enhance the country’s position as a business hub. It is acknowledged that the existing sectoral approach is inadequate. Explicitly, the PDPA seeks to achieve two key objectives: to ensure adequate safeguards to protect personal data and to promote greater trust in the private sector and strengthen the country’s overall economic competitiveness. This talk provides an assessment of the PDPA. A special attention is given to the consent requirement and its exceptions. Before doing so, the talk begins with a general perspective of personal data protection and followed by a discussion on the international legal instruments. It also offers a comparative analysis with the data protection legislation of other Asia-Pacific countries such as Malaysia, Korea, Taiwan and the Philippines.


Abu Bakar Munir is an internationally renowned scholar, expert and consultant on ICT law and data protection law. He was the Dean of the Faculty of Law, University of Malaya, Malaysia. Currently, he is a Professor of Law at the Faculty of Law and an Associate Fellow at the University of Malaya Malaysian Centre of Regulatory Studies (UMCoRS). He is also a Visiting Professor at several universities in Asia, Australia, New Zealand, the Middle East and Europe.
Abu Bakar Munir is the author of several books; Privatization (1992), Cyberlaw: Policies and Challenges (1999), Privacy and Data Protection (2002), Internet Banking: Law and Practice (2004), and Information and Communication Technology Law: State, Internet and Information (2010). His most recent work; Personal Data Protection in Malaysia: Law and Practice published in 2010 is a must-read book that provides a guidance to comply with the Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA) 2010. He is currently working on another book on Data Protection Law in Asia Pacific.
He has widely published articles on several aspects of ICT law and data protection law. He speaks extensively at workshops, seminars and conferences within Malaysia and around the globe. In September 2011, he spoke at the Society of Legal Scholars Conference hosted by the Downing College, University of Cambridge. In November 2012, he was invited to speak at the IAPP Europe Data Protection Congress in Brussels and the University of Oxford.
Professor Abu Bakar Munir has been far and wide consulted by the governments and private entities in Malaysia and around the world. He was appointed the Adviser to the Government of Malaysia on data protection law in 2007 and was instrumental in crafting and the passing of the PDPA 2010. He was also responsible for developing the academic draft of the proposed data protection law for the Republic of Indonesia.
In 1999 he was seconded as the IT Law Adviser and Principal Consultant to the Government of Dubai, UEA where he led an international team of consultants in developing and drafting the Data Protection Code, Computer Crime Code, Electronic Commerce Facilitation Code, etc. to facilitate the Dubai Internet City, a multi-billion dollar IT project. He was a Council Member of the Asia Pacific Privacy Charter Council (APPCC) and the recipient of the Malaysia Cyber Security Awards (Minister’s Award) 2010 as well as the Malaysia Cyber Security, (Information Security Visionary of the Year) Award 2010.
He is the consultant to several companies and organisations in Malaysia, Indonesia and Saudi Arabia. His other research interests include nanotechnology law and policy and renewable energy law and policy.


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Closing Date of registration : 26 February 2013, Tuesday, 5pm