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Singapore to Set Up Two Bodies to Manage Personal Data Protection Act
Source: news.xinhuanet.com
Source Date: Thursday, December 20, 2012
Country: Singapore
Created: Dec 25, 2012

SINGAPORE, Dec. 20 (Xinhua) -- Singapore's Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI) said on Thursday that they will set up a Personal Data Protection Commission and a Data Protection Advisory Committee to respectively administer and advise on the Personal Data Protection Act on Jan. 2, 2013.

The act, which was passed by the city-state's parliament in October and will come into effect on Jan. 2 next year, is aim at protecting personal information from being stolen or indiscriminately collected and used for marketing purposes.

"It will be implemented in phases over an 18-month period to allow time for organizations to adjust fully to the new law," the MCI said in a statement.

The MCI said the commission will undertake education and outreach programs to help organizations and the public understand the law as well as issue advisory guidelines for organizations to comply with the act.

Meanwhile, the commission will also set up a "Do Not Call" registry in early 2014 for public registration, the ministry added.

The "Do Not Call" registry will allow people to opt out of receiving intrusive marketing messages like telemarketing calls, faxes as well as text and multi-media messages including those sent via smart phone applications such as WhatsApp and Viber.

The committee, on the other hand, is established to advise the commission on matters relating to the key roles, administration and enforcement of the Act.

"During the transition period, the commission will work closely with sectoral regulators and associations to help organizations comply with the act to adjust their data protection practices, and embark on public education and engagement programs to help consumers better understand how they may protect their own personal data from misuse," local media Channel NewsAsia quoted Leong Keng Thai, chairman of the commission, as saying.

According to earlier report, the act covers all private sector organizations engaged in data activities within Singapore. The commission can impose fines of up to 1 million Singapore dollars ( about 820,000 U.S. dollars) for every offense and penalties of 10, 000 Singapore dollars (8,200 U.S. dollars) for every unsolicited marketing call or message to a number in the "Do Not Call" registry.
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