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Defending Digital Privacy in Southeast Asia Program

Program Description

The American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI) aspires to protect privacy in the digital age through the launch of a new Defending Digital Privacy in Southeast Asia program (DDP). In a world where the internet and technology are deeply ingrained in every aspect of people’s lives, it is important for societies to have laws that protect individuals’ digital privacy. Without such laws, freedoms of expression, thought, consciousness, belief, association, assembly, and the right to be free of discrimination can become encroached upon. Digital privacy laws serve as a safeguard for such freedoms through the provision of a space for individuals to freely develop their own voice and identity without fear of repercussion. To address this challenge, DDP will bring together lawyers and experts across Southeast Asia to expand their knowledge on the core values of digital privacy and explore approaches to protecting and promoting digital privacy in their jurisdictions. 

With the help of experts from across the world, ABA ROLI will develop a regional training program on digital privacy that will be launched in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam. The training program will include both virtual and in-person events that will provide a refined understanding of privacy, privacy’s intersection with technology, and the mechanisms used to protect privacy and provide help to those harmed by privacy right violations. ABA ROLI, and its partners across the region, will foster locally based but regionally connected networks of digital privacy lawyers who can provide pro bono services to victims of privacy violations. Local partners will also implement programs to raise awareness of digital privacy issues in their jurisdictions and work with policymakers to integrate appropriate safeguards into new and existing laws.

Privacy Advisors

  • Donata Kalnenaite:  Donata is an experienced corporate and data privacy attorney and a Certified Information Privacy Professional; she serves as the President of a SaaS company that generates auto-updating Privacy Policies (, and the chair of the International Association of Privacy Professionals' Chicago Knowledge Net Chapter
  • James Casey serves as a research and innovation contracts executive based in San Antonio, TX, USA. He is currently consulting for Florida State University in this role. He is an Adjunct Associate Professor in Research Administration and Compliance at CUNY and holds 25 plus years of research management and contract negotiation experience. He is a State Bar of Wisconsin delegate to the ABA House of Delegates and earlier in his career was a Visiting Professor of Leadership at the Upper Iowa University campus in Hong Kong, China.
  • David Husband: David has served as a Cybersecurity and Privacy Attorney for the Federal Reserve Board of Governors for over 9 years. In addition to cybersecurity and privacy, as a Senior Counsel in the Board's Legal Division, he focuses on open data, artificial intelligence, insider threat, cloud computing, contracting, and digital identity. He serves as a Council member of the American Bar Associations' Science and Technology section and as the Vice-Chair of SciTech's E-Privacy Committee. He also is a Chair of the Law Student Engagement Committee and Vice-Chair of the Homeland Security Committee for SciTech and a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation.
  • Charles Mok: Charles brings 30 plus years of technology, management and consulting experience in IT, Internet and new media; from 2012-2020 Charles served as the Legislative Councilor representing the Information Technology Functional Constituency in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.
  • Laarni Victoria Quidoles Vinas (Lani): Lani is a qualified lawyer in the Philippines, New York, and England and Whales as well as the Legal Director at SHUSAKU·YAMAMOTO with extensive experience in IP practice. 
  • Craig Choy: Craig has served at a barrister in Hong Kong since 2004 and has extensive experience in privacy and data protection law in Asia, with an emphasis in Southeast Asia. He has acted as the legal advisor for Keyboard Frontline, a Hong Kong based internet freedom advocacy group; the convenor for the Progressive Lawyer Group, a group of legal practitioners and law students promoting human rights; and the advisor for Hong Kong Democracy Council, a DC-based NGO.

Blogs and Resources

  1. January 3, 2023: ABA ROLI Launches New Digital Privacy Project in Southeast Asia
  2. October 10, 2023:ABA ROLI Launches On-Demand Video Training Series on Digital Privacy
  3. February 22. 2024: Importance of Digital Privacy in Light of Emerging Technology
  4. April 2, 2024: Privacy Lawls: Ep. 11 | Getting Consent The Correct Way (Guests: Elizabeth Donkervoort & Lani Victoria Q. Vinas) on Apple Podcasts - Many privacy laws mandate obtaining consent before gathering personal information from website users—such as emails, phone numbers, names, and IP addresses. Despite this requirement, it's a common problem that many websites fail to properly secure consent, frequently under the mistaken impression that they are in compliance with the law. In the podcast we examine the proper procedures for obtaining consent, addressing legal requirements, common misconceptions, and the shortcomings of current consent models for ensuring privacy protection.


Right to Privacy Certificate Course Modules

These modules are avaliable to watch On-Demand on the following moodle site:

  1. Module One: The Right to Privacy in the Digital Environment
  2. Module Two: International, Regional, and National Privacy Policy Frameworks
  3. Module Three: A Review of Key Topics in Digital Privacy
  4. Module Four: National Data Privacy Regulation and Practices

Sessions from the June 2023 Symposium

These sessions are avaliable to watch On-Demand on the following moodle site:

  1. Consent Desensitization and Fatigue: A Critique of Consent-based Regulation Structure  
    Presented by Laarni Victoria Q. Vinas, Legal Director, SHUSAKU·YAMAMOTO
  2. Expert Panel: AI and Online Harms 
    This session was moderated by Charles Mok, Visiting Scholar - Stanford University, and the panelists included Kyung-Sin Park, Professor – Korea University; Kenny Huang, Chair – Taiwan Network Information Center; and Edmon Chung, CEO -DotAsia Organization.
  3. Approaches to Defending Digital Privacy 2 — Strategic Litigation for Digital Privacy
    Presented by Gilbert Andres, Executive Director, Center for International Law (CenterLaw Philippines)

OnDemand Course Translations

  1. English:

  2. Bahasa Indonesian: Coming Soon!

  3. Thai: Coming Soon!

  4. Vietnamese: Coming Soon!

Defending Digital Privacy Training Program FAQ

1. Question: Who is eligible to participate in the DDP training program? 

Answer: The DDP training program is open for anyone interested in digital privacy regulations. Modules 1 – 3 are general and relevant to a global audience, while Module 4 focuses on privacy law in specific jurisdictions. See the Defending Digital Privacy website for updated list of jurisdictions.

Live Sessions are limited to specified launch dates (Module 1: April 4, 2023; Module 2: April 18, 2023). We hope to have OnDemand sessions will be available in English two weeks after the Live Session and translated modules to be uploaded within two months.

2.  Question: How can I register and participate in the OnDemand training program?

Answer: The DDP training program is offered on the Moodle learning platform. Participants will need to register here:

Once registered, you will be able to access course modules, training materials, recommended resources, and announcements from ABA ROLI regarding upcoming events. Only participants registered and completing trainings through Moodle are eligible for badges and certificates.

3. Question: What if I missed the live sessions?

Answer: All Live sessions will be recorded and uploaded swiftly to the Moodle learning platform and be available OnDemand so you can complete (or re-watch) whenever works best for you.  

4. Question: As a lawyer can I get CLE/CPD credits from taking this training program?

Answer: CLE credit may be available in select jurisdictions. Currently CPR credits will be available for members of the Bar Council Malaysia (BCM) who take the live sessions of Module 1 and 2 (CPR credits for Modules 3 & 4 for BCM members pending). Please contact your local bar association or us for more details about your jurisdiction: [email protected]

5.  Question: Do I get a certificate for completing the training program?

Answer: Badges are available via the Moodle learning platform for people who complete a module- completion requires you to watch the training videos and pass all quizzes. For people attending the Live Sessions, you must complete the pre and post training surveys sent via email.

Certificates of completion for people successfully completing all four modules may be available upon request at [email protected].

6. Question: How do I share Moodle Badges on my social media?

Answer: To export Badges from Moodle to your social media, you will need a Badgr Backpack – this is a platform that stores all digital certificates. Follow the instructions in Moodle.

Additional information for sharing Moodle Badges can be found here:

And in this instructional video: