Friday, July 06, 2007

What's up with CTOS?

There has been some noise made in the local media about a credit check company, CTOS, in Malaysia. I have no idea what is happening as all the noise has confused me. But from what little I can glean, it seems like there is a small ongoing fight between the government and CTOS with lightly veiled threats cast about.

For some reason, the government decided to pick a fight with CTOS. Then, the Deputy Minister in the PM's Department, made some disparaging remarks about CTOS. On top of that, the Deputy Minister made some threats "that the government will come down hard" on CTOS if they challenge it. Then, the CTOS people did the most surprising thing and actually challenged the Deputy Minister. They disclosed the fact that the law firm owned by the said minister and his wife, actually engaged CTOS's services. The CEO had also started a blog to tell their side of the story. Not the smartest of moves. As a result, the company directors have been slapped with 85 charges under the Companies Act 1965. Kena pwn.

While I do agree with the various privacy arguments about credit checks, I can also see the need for such services. These companies are in the business of information management. They collate data from various sources in order to draw up a risk profile of a person. By no means are their data guaranteed against errors but they try their best to provide accurate information. In other words, they are just information brokers.

So, if the government really feels that these people are scum, it's fairly simple to get rid of them. Just make all the necessary information available easily. This will allow people to check up on other people without resorting to hiring these information brokers. I'm not sure of whether or not this is a good idea. But the technical aspects of this solution is a non-issue. There are only 27 million people in Malaysia. That may sound like a big number, but with the proper design, it's perfectly manageable. Privacy and security can be built into the system as well.

But with regards to this case, I'm sure that there is more than meets the eye. The way that this situation had spiraled out of control and moved so fast, just seems so wrong in Malaysia. I would be interested to know what's actually happening. It feels like the government is coming down hard to shut them up. But there is just too much noise in the media for me to understand what's happening. My only comment about CTOS is that their corporate website sucks.

Can someone please enlighten me to what's happening?


dan said...

man... i've waited for 10 minutes and the CTOS website hasnt even loaded.

oh speaking of websites, can you teach me a bit about the srcf site management one of these days via msn? damn, it is confuuusing

Shawn Tan said...

dude.. refer to this faq.

dan said...

acks.. it's confuuusing.. nvm :P i wil try to figure it out tonight