Padu system: Ensuring privacy or inviting vulnerabilities?

Malaysians divided on data security of new government initiative

21 Mar 2024 01:35pm
The Padu system is open to users from January 1 to March 31, 2024, for the purpose of updating and verifying individual information. - BERNAMA FILE PHOTO
The Padu system is open to users from January 1 to March 31, 2024, for the purpose of updating and verifying individual information. - BERNAMA FILE PHOTO

THE Central Database Hub (Padu) is developed to serve as the government's primary resource for socio-economic planning and the formulation of detailed national policies.

According to Economy Minister Rafizi Ramli, the government requires precise information about the socio-economic conditions of each family, extending beyond mere names and addresses.

The Padu system has been accessible to users from Jan 1 to March 31 facilitating the update and verification of individual information.

Data and information submitted within this period will undergo analysis based on usage cases to identify target groups for subsidy retargeting starting April 1.

As of Wednesday, out of Malaysia's 30.08 million citizens, 6.03 million have updated their data in the Padu system.

Sinar's survey revealed diverse feedback from Malaysian citizens regarding the Padu system.

While some express confidence in its security, others harbour concerns about data leaks.

Supportive Views:

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Muhammad Shahrul Ariffin Sadio, an Assistant Agriculture Officer, stressed trust in the government's initiative, highlighting the secure nature of the Padu system.

He urged the public to register before the deadline for timely assistance distribution.

"Based on the information provided, the system plays a role in ensuring that everyone receives benefits in the form of aid or protection if they qualify for various government incentives aimed at the people.

"It also contains individual profiles and identification that encompass all data of citizens and permanent residents aged 18 and above in Malaysia.

"The Padu system focuses on and facilitates government processes for providing subsidies and assistance to those who are eligible.

"If there are still concerns about data breaches, many other platforms or applications require us to provide personal information.

"For example, we use the My Sejahtera application during the Covid-19 pandemic.

"I registered with the Padu system since January and encountered no issues as reported on social media.

"Therefore, I advice the public to register before the final date on March 31 so that we can receive the assistance allocated to the people," he said.

Assistant agricultural officer, Muhammad Shahrul Ariffin Sadio.
Assistant agricultural officer, Muhammad Shahrul Ariffin Sadio.

Maleni J Jayasankar, a student, echoed confidence in the system's benefits, citing personal experiences with successful registration and encouraging responsible citizenship.

"Despite the negative rumours circulating on social media, I believe that the government will develop a system that benefits all users.

"I also trust that this system will not experience any data leaks as it was specially created by the government.

"Government aid or incentives will also be provided to the Malaysian people, so it's important for us to register to facilitate the process for everyone.

"Registration for this system is voluntary and not mandated by any party, and it will truly help users in targeted assistance distribution.

"I also had the opportunity to assist family members in registering for this system.

"I informed them that no data leaks occurred during my personal data update in the system.

"I hope that the public will register before the registration period ends at the end of this month so that we can become responsible citizens," she said.

Student, Maleni J Jayasankar.
Student, Maleni J Jayasankar.

Opposing Views:

Muhammad Fazaile Mohd Faisal, a private company software engineer, expressed apprehension about data security and urged the government to provide reassurance to the public, especially the elderly and those in rural areas.

"To be honest, I still haven't registered for the Padu system because I'm not confident about its usage.

"For me, if someone can easily fill in any information online, data leaks are more likely to occur.

"Data leaks occurred when the system was initially launched, and there is evidence that it was easily hacked.

"Our personal information such as residential address, identification number, income, and so on are stored in the system.

"Even though over 5 million people have registered, I still don't trust the system, despite its goal to help the people, especially the B40 and M40 groups.

"There are still a few days left before the registration for the system closes, so authorities still have time to reassure the public, especially the elderly living in villages.

"These individuals may not know how to register for the system, especially if they don't have gadgets at home," he said.

Private company software engineer, Muhammad Fazaile Mohd Faisal
Private company software engineer, Muhammad Fazaile Mohd Faisal

Fatin Nur Quraisha Ab Latif, a student, shared concerns about data leaks and suggests that widespread promotion and assurance from the government could encourage more registrations.

"I'm also somewhat afraid that personal information might leak or that any accounts could be hacked because many people are still unfamiliar with the system.

"I would feel confident and register if the government can ensure that no individual experiences personal data leaks throughout the implementation of the system.

"As a social media user, I find that the Padu system hasn't been widely promoted on any digital platforms.

"Therefore, the government needs to take initiative to reassure the public, especially those in their twenties, by utilising any online applications. Perhaps by doing so, many would voluntarily register even if they still don't fully trust the system.

"I believe that in today's modern age, there are various types of applications or software that make it easy to hack personal information.

"So, I hope the government can persuade the public to register for this system before the deadline on March 31.

Student, Fatin Nur Quraisha Ab Latif.
Student, Fatin Nur Quraisha Ab Latif.

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