16 November 2014 – The Personal Data Protection Department (“PDPD“) has announced its intention to enforce compounding regulations pursuant the Personal Data Protection Act 2010 (“PDPA“) and has issued a request for feedback from the public on this issue. Section 132 of the PDPA empowers the Personal Data Protection Commissioner (“Commissioner“), with the consent of the Public Prosecutor, to compound certain offences under the PDPA. This would mean that although the offence has been committed, the Commissioner is entitled to make offers to the suspected offender to make payment of compensation in lieu of prosecution. However, the PDPA limits the compensation to 50 percent of the amount of the maximum fine for the relevant offence.
Members of the public may complete a brief survey, which is available on PDPD’s website, that consists of questions such as whether the respondent agrees with the enforcement of the compounding regulations, whether such enforcement would lighten the burden of punishment of the offender, and whether such enforcement would educate data users to be more careful in the way the personal data of the data subjects is used. The enforcement of the compounding regulations offers some measure of relief to data users, as it provides the opportunity for a data user to pay compensation in lieu of prosecution for a suspected offence under the PDPA. Companies who process personal data should respond to the survey if it wishes to provide feedback. By Kherk Ying Chew, Hong Sze Chen, and Adeline Lew (Baker & McKenzie Malaysia)