MCI's Response to PQ on Microenterprises in Exercise and Education Sectors Supported by IMDA
Parliament Sitting on 7 November 2023
QUESTION FOR WRITTEN ANSWER
29. Ms See Jinli Jean: To ask the Minister for Communications and Information (a) what is the proportion and number of micro-enterprises in (i) the exercise sector and (ii) the education sector that are supported by IMDA’s Data Protection Essentials Programme since its inception in April 2022; and (b) in each sector, what is the breakdown by the number of enterprises that have (i) completed the IMDA Start Digital Programme and (ii) successfully implemented the one-step professional service and received the grant of $1,600.
IMDA’s Start Digital (SD) programme provides easy-to-deploy digital solutions to new companies or those that have yet to digitalise. To date, about 1,320 companies in the education sector and 220 in the exercise sector have adopted SD solutions.
IMDA’s Data Protection Essentials (DPE) programme is designed to support SMEs in acquiring a basic level of data protection and security to protect their customers’ personal data and recover quickly from a data breach. Since its inception in April 2022, there have been over 100 applications for the DPE One-Stop Professional Service (“Service”). The Service helps SMEs to set up data security practices and incident management plans, provides data protection and cyber awareness training to the SME’s staff, and comes with a 1-year retainer service that includes software updates and reviews of the SME’s systems and data handling processes.
Most of the applications for the Service come from SMEs in sectors such as healthcare and IT which handle a large amount of personal data (more than 500 individuals). Over 40% of the applications are from micro-SMEs. Specifically, 4 applications are from the education sector, and none are from the exercise sector. To date, 50% of all applicants have successfully implemented the Service, while the remaining are at different stages of implementation.
Different SMEs have varying data protection needs depending on the volume and type of data they handle. IMDA has been collaborating with various sector champions to promote the DPE, including in the education and exercise sectors. For example, IMDA is partnering the Committee for Private Education to encourage small-to-medium private education institutions to adopt the DPE to protect their customers’ personal data. IMDA will also continue to encourage all SMEs that handle a large amount of personal data to adopt the DPE, including SMEs in the exercise sector. The data protection measures will aid SMEs in upholding confidence and trust among their customers as they digitalise their processes and services.