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Indonesian Parliament reviews online data protection bill

Indonesian Parliament reviews online data protection bill

The government of Indonesia is considering introducing a data protection bill to safeguard consumer data, as it addresses rules on data ownership, consumer rights and cross-border data transfer. While still in parliamentary review, if the bill passes, the distribution of personal data without consent could lead to up to seven years in prison, a minister was reported saying on Tuesday.

Indonesia’s digital economy has been proclaimed the fastest-growing in the APAC region, forecast to reach $130 billion by 2025, based on a report by Google, Singapore state investor Temasek Holdings and global business consultants Bain & Company.

“Data protection law is important, relevant in the global life as the economy has transformed lives in the digital era,” said in a news conference Communications Minister Johnny G. Plate.

Reuters reports that under the rules, people need to give explicit consent to provide personal data, including name, gender, nationality, religion, medical records, biometrics and sexual orientation, to another person. Under the bill, data trading is forbidden and the information cannot be used for reasons the owner did not consent to. Parties using data without consent could face a seven-year jail sentence or a 70 billion rupiah ($5.13 million) fine.

Southeast Asian governments have recently been making efforts for content regulation and tax policy from tech companies.

“It means we will know what (digital firms) will do to our personal data, what they will be used for and how valuable they are and whether we can retract them,” explained Firman Kurniawan, a digital communications expert from the University of Indonesia.

Ignatius Untung, Chair of Indonesia E-Commerce Association (IDEA), approved of the initiative, arguing data protection will make consumers feel more empowered, yet the industry should be allowed time to adapt to new regulations.

In October 2019, Indonesia obtained the Public Key Directory (PKD) certificate from the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) for its electronic travel documents or biometric passports.

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