Coming Soon - Personal Data Protection Act 2010 and Journalists

Coming Soon - Personal Data Protection Act 2010 and Journalists

Posted on : January 21 2019

The Personal Data Protection Act 2010, which came into force in November 2013 applies to anyone who processes personal data. The broad definition of “processing” and “personal data” requires anyone who collects and uses information about a living individual in a commercial context to pay careful attention to the terms of the Personal Data Protection Act 2010.

Journalists are one group that is caught by the provisions of the Act. Most journalism is information about people. A great part of the daily news we wake up to every morning is made up of what individuals do. However, the Act recognizes the special role of journalists in processing personal information and has provided them with a general exemption from almost all the provisions of the Act. The “Journalistic Exemption” which applies to journalistic, literary and artistic works must satisfy a number of conditions;  

  1. The personal data is processed only for journalistic, literary or artistic purposes;
  2. The personal data in question is being processed with a view to the publication of journalistic, literary or artistic material;
  3. the data user must reasonably believe that, taking into account the special importance of the public interest in freedom of expression, publication would be in the public interest, and
  4. the data user must reasonably believe that the application of the provisions of the Act exempted from would be incompatible with the journalistic, literary or artistic purpose.

 Assuming these criteria are met, a data user will be exempt from complying with an extensive list of rights and obligations under the Act, including obtaining the consent of the data subject where sensitive personal information is concerned.

Journalists and publishers of any form of writing are already subject to a long list of laws that regulate and limit the publication of personal information. They will now have to satisfy the provisions of the Personal Data Protection Act 2010.

The seminar covers the following areas;

  1. A General Introduction on Privacy and the Press
  2. Previous Legal Restrictions on Journalism (as introduction)
    1. The Law of Defamation
    2. The Law of Contempt
    3. Statutory Restrictions on News Gathering and Publishing;
    4. The Law of Confidential Information
    5. Emerging Law on a Right to Privacy
  3. A Brief Background on the Personal Data Protection Act 2010
  4. The Reach of the PDPA
  5. The Application of the PDPA to Journalistic Processes
  6. The Journalistic Exemption;
    1. The Nature of the Exemption
    2. Freedom of Expression;
    3. Right to Protect Personal Information

The seminar will examine judicial opinions from Malaysia and other jurisdictions on some of the more troubling provisions of the Act such as multiple and cross border republications. Also some consideration of the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) which the Malaysian government plans to incorporate into the local law.

Who Should Attend?

Anyone involved in the journalistic process from reporters to editors of newspapers, Freelancers, literary, Blog and recreational writers, teachers of journalism, the media and generally anyone who has an interest in the media and in the privacy of personal information.

How Will the Seminar Benefit the Participants?

  1. Understand the Extent and Limits of the Law
  2. Be Able to Avoid Pitfalls of the Act
  3.  Articulate Policy Changes Concerning the Act