Jakarta. The government plans to set up the first-ever state agency tasked with personal data protection after the recent issuance of a related law, Communication and IT Minister Johnny Gerard Plate said on Thursday.
According to the minister, the existence of such an agency is mandated by the landmark Law on Personal Data Protection signed by President Joko Widodo on Monday.
The government is preparing a presidential decree on the new agency that becomes the authority of the executive branch, Johnny said at the State Palace in Jakarta.
“We must first issue a presidential decree and other related regulations. The law has come into force only recently so we are making preparations,” the minister said.
The agency will be led by a presidential appointee and will report to the president.
The new law, which carries tough jail sentences and fines, aims to protect internet users from personal data breaches by local and international website operators.
Article 67 of the law states that the deliberate and unlawful use of someone else’s personal data is punishable by up to five years in prison and Rp 5 billion in fines.
Unauthorized disclosure of other people’s personal data is also considered a serious crime that carries the maximum sentence of four years’ imprisonment and Rp 4 billion in fines.
Article 68 says whoever is convicted of forging personal data could face up to six years in prison and Rp 6 billion in fines. In addition, the state is authorized to seize assets and wealth generated from personal data forgery.
If the unlawful use of personal data and other related crimes are committed by a corporation, the sentence is a fine ten times the amount an individual offender has to pay.
A convicted corporation could also risk asset seizure and permanent closure by the state.
The House of Representatives passed the law unanimously a month before the president signed it to come into force.