Whither Padu and security concerns

Dr Mohd Azmir
08 Jan 2024 12:02pm
Pix for illustration purpose only. - Photo by Bernama
Pix for illustration purpose only. - Photo by Bernama

PADU, or Pangkalan Data Utama, is a central database system that aims to collect and integrate data from various government agencies to provide better and more targeted subsidies and social protection for Malaysians.

The government has urged all citizens and permanent residents to register and update their information on Padu by the end of March 2024.

While the idea of Padu sounds promising and beneficial, there are some concerns and challenges that need to be addressed.

One of the main issues is the data privacy and security of the users.

How will the government ensure that the data collected by Padu is not misused, leaked, or hacked by unauthorized parties?

What are the safeguards and regulations that will protect the users' rights and interests? How will the users be informed and consented about the data collection and sharing process?

For example, personal data from Padu could be used for political campaigning, marketing, or profiling without the individuals' permission or knowledge.

The FAQ on Padu web did not declare or express the guarantee of this issue, which may rise concerns among users.

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The accuracy and quality of the data that Padu provides is another problem.

In what ways will the government perform verification and validation on the data that is provided by the agencies and the users?

It is mentioned that the e-KYC method will be part of the data verification. But again, is that sufficient enough to guarantee its validation?

How does the government plan to deal with the contradictions and inconsistencies in the data that may be caused by the various sources and formats of the data?

The data in Padu will be updated and maintained by the government in a manner that takes into account the ever-evolving requirements and circumstances of the users.

Padu's data accessibility and usability is a third problem that needs to be addressed.

What measures will the government take to guarantee that pertinent stakeholders and decision-makers have easy access to and the ability to make use of the data included in Padu?

What measures will the government take to prevent the formation of data silos and the duplication of data that may arise between various platforms and agencies?

How does the government plan to make use of the data included in Padu in order to develop useful insights and actions that will promote the welfare and well-being of the users?

Identity theft, fraud, discrimination, harassment, blackmail, and risks to national security are just some of the potential negative outcomes that could result from these data privacy vulnerabilities, which could have major repercussions for both individuals and the nation.

As a result, it is essential for the government to make certain that Padu is equipped with sufficient data protection and governance systems, such as encryption, authentication, authorisation, audit, and supervision, in order to minimise or reduce the impact of these problems.

In conclusion, the Padu is an admirable idea that has the potential to revolutionise the manner in which the government provides social safety and subsidies to the general populace.

Nevertheless, it also presents a number of substantial hazards and problems, all of which need to be properly studied and addressed simultaneously.

When it comes to the development and implementation of Padu, the government must to take an open, accountable, and participative approach.

Additionally, they ought to make certain that the data is gathered, maintained, and utilised in a responsible and ethical manner.

Assoc Prof Dr Mohd Azmir Mohd Nizah is a Senior Lecturer from Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia

The views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect those of Sinar Daily.