Addressing Urgent Data Protection and Sustainable IT Management Issues in Cambodia

Tom Starkey

A ‘Data Protection & Responsible IT Asset Management’ workshop, organized by DFDL Cambodia and Asian Data Destruction (ADD) has shed light on the current legal landscape around data protection requirements, secure data erasure tools and sustainable IT management. 

Hosted at Raintree in Phnom Penh, the event commenced with a comprehensive discussion on data protection laws in Cambodia. DFDL Cambodia Senior Consultant Simon Burlinson said currently, there are currently no specific draft law on data protection in Cambodia.

Data Protection & Responsible IT Asset Management, forum organized by DFDL Cambodia and Asian Data Destruction (ADD) at Raintree Phnom Penh on 06 September 2023.

“However,” he noted, “The government has highlighted this as an issue. There are foundation laws such as the law on telecoms and credit reporting in banking, as well as law on collection of data under ministry of interior however there doesn’t seem to be a data protection law that upholds for rights of individuals.”

“Cyber security draft law has been floated around, the latest which is encouraging but it still doesn’t cover personal data, something which is a concern,” he added.

Secure Data Erasure and Sustainable IT Management

Following the illuminating presentation on data protection, the spotlight shifted to the importance of destroying data effectively. 

Read more: TecFin Future Conference 2023: Navigating the Technological Advances in Cambodia’s Telecom and Finance Sectors

Dimitri Nauwelaerts, Country Representative of ADD Cambodia, and Isato Bista, BD Manager ADD APAC, emphasized the need for secure data erasure and responsible IT asset management.

Data Protection & Responsible IT Asset Management, forum organized by DFDL Cambodia and Asian Data Destruction (ADD) at Raintree Phnom Penh on 06 September 2023.

Nauwelaerts pointed out a common misconception: “Many companies opt to either format their IT systems or physically destroy them to erase data. However, the former does not fully remove data, posing a security risk. The latter means that old systems end up in landfills, becoming a burden on society and especially the environment.”

ADD then demonstrated their cutting-edge data erasure solution technology, designed to ensure that all data is thoroughly removed from any IT system. This approach allows for the safe reuse or resale of hardware without compromising security, and presenting a greener option for companies which can be integrated into their CSR/ESG policies.

Sustainable Development and Environmental Responsibility

Addressing the environmental aspect of IT asset management, Sebastien Ung, General Manager of Sayna ODD, highlighted a critical issue. “In Cambodia, 27 tonnes of e-waste are generated each year, contributing to the production of 39,000 tonnes of CO2 for new products. Mismanagement of e-waste not only harms the environment but also poses public health risks and jeopardizes data security.”

Ung emphasized the need for innovative solutions to tackle this growing problem, aligning with the global call for sustainability and responsible e-waste management.

In her closing remarks, Ms Julie Keo, BD Director of DFDL Cambodia, said that the session had highlighted three key points which businesses should be aware of when it comes to data protection and IT asset management.

Read more: Cambodian Firms Recommended To Protect Their Data With New Cloud-Based Services

“Firstly, while the Cambodian data protection framework is currently quite general, it is still important that companies are compliant with the laws that are in place. Legal penalties are a potential consequence and the impact of reputational damage is extremely important to consider, particularly when dealing with breaches of data protection.”

Data Protection & Responsible IT Asset Management, forum organized by DFDL Cambodia and Asian Data Destruction (ADD) at Raintree Phnom Penh on 06 September 2023.

“Secondly,” she said, “the importance of effective IT asset management cannot be overstated. Companies must take steps not only to ensure security, but also to help organizations optimize operations and reduce costs.”

“Finally, eco-conscious business practices should be adopted not only to protect our environment, but by harnessing these innovative solutions we can make our world visibly greener, contributing to a better future,” she added.

The ‘Data Protection & Responsible IT Asset Management’ workshop provided valuable insights into the challenges and opportunities surrounding data protection and sustainable IT management in Cambodia. With these takeaways in mind, businesses in the region have a roadmap for securing their data, managing assets responsibly, and contributing to a greener future.

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