Macau | Still early to claim Cybersecurity Law is against privacy rights – CTM head

Macau (MNA) – The CEO of the Companhia de Telecomunicaçōes de Macau (CTM), Vandy Poon, said this Monday he believes the Cybersecurity Law is still in its very early stages to allow claiming it will impact privacy principles engrained in the Basic Law of the Macau SAR. 

The proposed law is currently under public consultation until January 24, and has drawn criticism from political activists  and associations due to the data monitoring powers it grants to the MSAR police authorities.

“[CTM] joined the consultation for the [communications] industry. I support the course for the cybersecurity act, because I think it can put together all focus points in order to protect Macau from cyberattacks […]. But we haven’t seen the law draft, so we will be looking forward to see [it] and provide more critical, concrete and solid comments to the government,” Mr. Poon added.

The CTM responsible also dismissed assumptions according to which the law would be a “framework for mass surveillance” as “premature,” since only until the final document is provided such assumptions could be made.

“From the beginning, the government is both tasked with general and individual security. The thin balance between the two is very important but at the same time the government is not expelling or excluding telecom operators. They do consult our opinion on the matter,” Mr. Poon said.

According to him, CTM already monitors the data traffic flow of its own network services to gather information such as daily consumer data usage, although he claimed that the company would “of course never get into the communication details” of consumers.

“I think [data privacy] is a given. Until we have the final draft of the law [saying otherwise] is a premature statement,” he added.

Mr. Poon made the comments on the sidelines of a ceremony held to announce a joint MGM China and CTM scheme to support the cloud data backing of SMEs affected by Typhoon Hato.

[Edited by Sheyla Zandonai]