Heru Andriyanto, Jakarta – The Indonesian government will speed up mutual works with the House of Representatives in the deliberations of the bill on personal data protection to make up for the very late move it has taken, a minister said in a recent interview.
Indonesia is lagging behind because there are already 126 countries in the world who have adopted the general data protection regulation (GDPR), Communication and Information Technology Minister Johnny G. Plate said.
"Even in the Asean, four countries have enacted such a law, including Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines and Thailand," he said in Beritasatu TV's 'Interview with Claudius Boekan' program, referring to regional grouping of 10 Southeast Asian countries.
He said when he was appointed minister in October, President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo gave him special jobs to do.
"The first message from him is to ensure data sovereignty and security; secondly, to deal with cyber crimes; and thirdly, to develop information technology industry," Johnny said.
"We are entering an era where data are an economic resource much more valuable than oil and gas," he said.
Indonesia's version of the law will mostly take reference from European Union's GDPR, he added.
Government's programs to build data protection infrastructure across the country will be very costly.
"It is going to be in billions, not in rupiah, but dollar," Johnny said without elaborating.
He said he had met with top executives of global tech firms such as Google, Facebook and YouTube to discuss the issue.
"We open door to investments but they must bring benefits to our people," he said.
When integrated regulations on the use of personal data are in place, the government will not tolerate any abuse of personal data, most notably by lending companies, he said.