Singapore commission proposes streamlining spam control

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On 27 April 2018, the Personal Data Protection Commission (PDPC) announced that it will undertake a review of the Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA). The review seeks to streamline legislation so that organizations can have a degree of clarity and certainty in instances where the PDPA and the Spam Control Act (SCA) may overlap.

Public consultations have taken place as part of the process of the PDPC’s review of two key areas:

  1. Consolidation of the Do Not Call Registry (DNCR) provisions of the PDPA and the SCA into a proposed new act;
  2. Introduction of an enhanced practical guidance (EPG) framework.

The current framework

Unsolicited commercial messages are currently regulated under the DNCR provisions of the PDPA and the SCA. The SCA regulates electronic messages (emails and text messages) that are sent in bulk, whereas the DNCR provisions under the PDPA deal with specified messages sent via text message, fax message or voice call to Singapore telephone numbers, regardless of whether such messages are sent in bulk.

Breaches of the DNCR provisions are enforced as criminal offences under the PDPA, whereas the SCA is enforced as an administrative regime.

Both the DNCR provisions under the PDPA and the SCA do not regulate text messages that are sent through instant messaging. As such, individuals who register their number on the DNCR may continue to receive marketing messages sent through platforms such as Facebook and Whatsapp.

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Business Law Digest is compiled with the assistance of Baker McKenzie. Readers should not act on this information without seeking professional legal advice. You can contact Baker McKenzie by emailing Danian Zhang at danian.zhang@bakermckenzie.com.

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