KUALA LUMPUR, August 18 — Anyone who leaks personal information from the federal government’s MySejahtera contact tracing app will face legal prosecution, a minister said today.
Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii (DAP) raised his concern during Question Time at the Dewan Rakyat on the data security of this application and if the government intends to create a policy or law to delete or remove the data once the Covid-19 pandemic ends, citing public concerns about the misuse of personal data.
“In MySejahtera, we have information, which is under the Personal Data Protection Act 2010 (PDPA), someone who issues personal information for example, is subject to the law,” Redzuan Md Yusof, the minister in charge of special functions, told Dr Yii.
“This is our enforcement in terms of security and so on to ensure personal information is not widely shared.”
The PDPA came into force in Malaysia with the objective of protecting the personal data of individuals with respect to commercial transactions. The law does not apply to any federal or state government entity.
MySejahtera, an app by the Ministry of Health (MOH), requires various personal details from users who download the app, such as their contact number, email address, full name, identity card (IC) number, age, gender, ethnicity, and home address. MySejahtera does not record people’s temperatures upon checking in at a location.
Deputy Health Minister Dr Noor Azmi Ghazali recently told CodeBlue in an exclusive interview that personal data from MySejahtera is only used for contact tracing and it is treated as confidential patient information under the Medical Act 1971 and the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988.
He also said personal data on MySejahtera is only accessible to seven people — from the national Crisis Preparedness and Response Centre (CPRC) and disease control division under MOH, as well as the National Cyber Security Agency (NACSA), the lead government agency on cyber security matters under the Prime Minister’s Department
Gopeng MP Dr Lee Boon Chye (PKR) had asked the Prime Minister, during Minister’s Question Time in Parliament, to state the number of MySejahtera users and to what extent the application has assisted in controlling the Covid-19 pandemic.
Redzuan said that as of August 16, the MySejahtera application has been downloaded by 15.1 million users and has managed to detect 322 confirmed Covid-19 cases, or 3.4 per cent of 9,200 positive cases.
Dr Lee also asked what are the constraints that the ministry is facing in terms of the usage of this application, noting that there are still premises that use manual registration of visitors.
“MySejahtera is one of our efforts to promote a new culture and we are creating awareness among the public on the importance of working with the government on this,” replied Redzuan, who is Alor Gajah MP.
The minister added that the government was discussing with the National Security Council (NSC) and the Attorney-General’s Chambers on the possibility of enacting legislation to compel business premises to use MySejahtera.
“We will try to make it mandatory for certain premises to use MySejahtera so they don’t have to use manual methods, like filling in forms.”