Parliament Sitting on 2 November 2020
QUESTION FOR WRITTEN ANSWER
25. Ms He Ting Ru: To ask the Minister for Communications and Information (a) whether he can provide details about current efforts at digital, media, privacy, and political literacy; (b) what are the measures and assessments of the effectiveness of these efforts; and (c) what are the next steps for review and improvement, timelines and roadmap given growing threats of hacking, data leaks, and misleading information from content farms.
Hacking, data leaks, and misleading information are global threats in the fast moving digital space. The Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI) aims to promote digital literacy - including awareness of cybersecurity, personal data protection, and misinformation - to help Singaporeans be discerning in their use of technology and in navigating online content.
2. All of us – the Government, businesses and the general public – have a role and the responsibility to take steps to mitigate the risks in the digital space. It was in this spirit that the Government launched Digital Defence as the sixth pillar of Total Defence in February 2019. MCI and our agencies work closely with stakeholders in the private and people sectors to promote digital, media and privacy literacy.
3. For example, MCI consulted stakeholders, including subject matter experts from the Media Literacy Council, to launch the Digital Media and Information Literacy Framework in July 2019, which aims to inculcate an appreciation of the benefits and risks of technology. A review of the framework is underway and expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2021.
4. The Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA) runs the annual National Cybersecurity Awareness Campaign, which provides tips for internet users to safeguard their digital assets. CSA also published the Safer Cyberspace Masterplan in October 2020 to secure Singapore’s core digital infrastructure, safeguard activities in cyberspace, and promote good cyber hygiene practices.
5. The Personal Data Protection Commission (PDPC) launched the Data Protection Competency Framework and Training Roadmap in 2019 to enable Data Protection Officers to strengthen data protection practices in their organisations. MCI and PDPC have recently completed a review of the Personal Data Protection Act and will propose amendments to enhance organisational accountability in the protection of personal data.
6. The MLC runs the annual Better Internet Campaign which covers issues such as cyber safety, discernment of online information, and cyber bullying. This is reinforced by the National Library Board’s “Source. Understand. Research. Evaluate” (S.U.R.E.) programme, which teaches students, working adults and the general public to be responsible producers and consumers of information.
7. Ground-up campaigns initiated by our citizens are an important complement to government’s efforts. For example, a group of students from the Nanyang Technological University ran a campaign called “Sure Anot” earlier this year to combat fake news. We look forward to more of such efforts.
8. Collectively, these and other initiatives help nurture a discerning and vigilant community of netizens, which is the best defence against evolving threats in a dynamic landscape. MCI and our agencies will continue to work with all stakeholders and partners in this important effort.