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Today’s Cambodia Daily (print only) reports that beginning May 1, car and truck drivers will no longer be fined on the spot, instead the officer will issue a ticket, to be paid later (see “On-The-Spot Fines for Car, Truck Drivers to End”, April 26 2012). As it is now, drivers who are stopped for traffic violations are issued a ticket and pay the fine at the side of the road. From next week on, you’ll have to go to the local public order police department or traffic office. It’s unclear whether the policy will eventually apply to motorbikes.

In principal, this new rule should reduce the potential for abuse, as drivers should not have to take their wallets out on the side of the road. If the procedures for paying at the police or traffic offices are well established and the lines aren’t too long, this should be a change for the better. If, however, it’s a real hassle to settle the fine properly, then there’s more incentive for abuse.

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The digital revolution has exponentially increased the amount of personal information that is collected, processed, and stored. How this data is treated, and the scope of personal privacy, is a fiercely contested issue. While the Cambodian tech sector is still relatively small, data collection and personal privacy remains a salient question for individuals as well as businesses.

In our commercial practice, privacy and data issues often come up when a client asks us to review their privacy policies or wants to know what sort of restrictions there are on the data they collect. For better or worse, there is no comprehensive data protection or privacy law on the books (and none under draft, to the best of our knowledge). There is, however, a constitutional right to privacy, enshrined in Article 40:

The rights to privacy of residence, and to the secrecy of correspondence by mail, telegram, fax, telex and telephone shall be guaranteed.

What this “right of privacy” means in practice is left to further laws and regulations, as well as to how courts interpret that right. There is also a patchwork of protections found in a number of laws, and these are often quite specific.

For instance, the Press Law restricts the publication of the identities of minors involved in civil or criminal suits, parties to family law cases, and female (though strangely not male) victims of molestation or rape. There are a number of other privacy provisions related to medical patients and financial institutions, though each are fairly narrow.

While there isn’t much in the way of a comprehensive Cambodian privacy law at present, anytime you put data on the internet or send it abroad for processing or storage, it is likely you’ll need to consider the laws of other countries too.

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The work of a handful of attorneys at BNG Legal, this blog's mission is to keep the world up-to-date on legal issues in the Kingdom of Cambodia.

Questions and feedback can be emailed directly to us at info@bnglegal.com.

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