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HELP University’s Faculty of Law and Government receives MCMC’s grant to manage privacy in an Artificial Intelligence (AI) enabled world

July 13, 2021 | Campus News
HELP University’s Faculty of Law and Government receives MCMC’s grant to manage privacy in an Artificial Intelligence (AI) enabled world

HELP University's Faculty of Law and Government is thrilled to receive the 2021 Digital Society Research Grant awarded by the Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission (MCMC). 

The grant will be used to conduct a research entitled 'Recommendations for the creation of a governance framework for the protection of personal data used in the development of Al systems under the research focus area of 'Digital Citizenship & Cyber Wellnes'. The team is led by Dr Jaspal Kaur Sadhu Singh of the Faculty of Law & Government, assisted by co-researcher and adjunct fellow, Darmain Segaran of Segaran law Chambers, who is also an alumnus of the faculty.

“We are overjoyed that our grant application has been approved. It is a huge opportunity for Darmain and I to be able to conduct a project that will make a contribution and provide direction to the crafting of national policies,” says Dr. Jaspal.

The research which will be conducted over a period of 6 months, aims to make recommendations for the creation of a governance framework for the protection of personal data used in the development of AI systems. The data privacy governance framework must serve to manage the requirement of data privacy and protection standards without acting as an impediment in the use of AI systems.

Jaspal said, “Data privacy laws were not designed to provide for the processing of personal data for inferential analytics or automated decision-making resulting from the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) systems. Inferences drawn from Big Data, which are large data sets, do not fall within the sphere of traditional principles of the individual’s right to privacy.”

The research will employ a comprehensive doctrinal investigation comprising the identification and examination of the Personal Data Protection Act 2010 (the PDPA 2010), which is the current legislative governance framework, and carry out comparative legal research to explore as well as assess how legal frameworks in other jurisdictions have adopted (or otherwise) manage the risks of Big Data Analytics to the data privacy legal regimes in place. In addition, a survey will be carried out to determine the extent of good data governance practices employed by deployers of AI systems.

The survey which will be undertaken by the team’s collaborator - Mr Peter Kua of BIGIT, which is the organisation that has published the infamous AI National Blueprint of Malaysia (2019 & 2020), and one who had invited the team to submit the findings of the survey as part of the AI Malaysian AI Blueprint for 2021. 

HELP University’s Faculty of Law and Government receives MCMC’s grant to manage privacy in an Artificial Intelligence (AI) enabled world

The purpose of this survey is to determine whether good data governance practices and the law are followed by deployers of AI to ensure that privacy and data protection principles are upheld when managing personal data and AI systems.

It is hoped that this research will achieve the research objectives in identifying gaps within the framework by determining whether additional governance regulations are required to manage data privacy risks arising from the use of Big Data in AI systems, and examine the compatibility of the data privacy principles found in the PDPA 2010 with the use of Big Data in AI systems.

The team believes that this grant is the start of a significant link up with MCMC.

They will also be recruiting a research assistant from their HELP University LLB programme to elevate the importance of the contribution of their undergraduate students in research in their developing years. 

Jaspal would also like to extend her appreciation to Assoc Prof Edmund Oh Joo Vin, the Director of HELP University’s Research Management Centre, for the support in preparation and submission of the grant as well as for organising a mock pitching session with other researchers at HELP University.

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