Amendments will strengthen consumer protection and support business innovation

Proposed amendments to the Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA) to address Singapore’s evolving digital economy needs, and related amendments to the Spam Control Act (SCA), were passed in Parliament today. 

2. To benefit citizens and the economy, the PDPA has been amended to: 

a) Strengthen consumer trust through organisational accountability;
b) Enhance effectiveness of enforcement;
c) Enhance consumer autonomy; and
d) Enhance data use for innovation.

3. These amendments will strengthen consumer protection, while giving organisations the confidence to harness personal data for innovation.

Background

4. This is the first comprehensive review of the PDPA since its enactment in 2012. Since then, we have seen exponential growth in the amount of data available globally, due to increased use of social media, online activities and increasing adoption of Internet-of-Things (IoT) technologies. Data has become an integral part of our society, economy and lives.

5. Consumers today are also accustomed to highly personalised services, achieved through data-driven technologies, and expect organisations to be accountable for protecting and using the different types of data responsibly.

6. The amendments passed today aim to ensure that the PDPA continues to safeguard consumers’ interests in the Digital Economy, while keeping pace with technological advances and new business models. It also incorporates feedback received during extensive public and industry consultations conducted by the Ministry of Communications and Information and the Personal Data Protection Commission since 2017. The PDPA has been updated to be aligned with, and benchmarked against, international best practices from other leading jurisdictions and global frameworks. This enables multi-national companies to adapt global best practices in their Singapore offices easily, minimising compliance costs and adjustments when Singapore-based companies expand into global markets.

7. Together, these amendments will support Singapore’s ambition to be an innovation and commercial hub. They strengthen consumer trust, provide further clarity to organisations when they use personal data to develop better products, offer more personalised services, and improve operational efficiencies.

8. For more information, please refer to the following:

Annex A: Opening Speech by Minister for Communications and Information Mr S Iswaran
Annex B: Closing Speech by Minister for Communications and Information Mr S Iswaran
Annex C: Infographic - How the enhanced PDPA can help grow your business
Infographic - How the enhanced PDPA will benefit you



ISSUED BY THE MINISTRY OF COMMUNICATIONS AND INFORMATION AND PERSONAL DATA PROTECTION COMMISSION
2 November 2020

 
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