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PDPA compliance in Singapore

Personal Data Protection Act, commonly known as PDPA is a general data protection law in Singapore that specifies mandatory requirements for personal data protection and handling. The Personal Data Protection Commission (PDPC) is the regulatory body that ensures PDPA compliance in Singapore.

PDPA compliance in Singapore

Personal Data Protection Act, commonly known as PDPA is a general data protection law in Singapore that specifies mandatory requirements for personal data protection and handling. The Personal Data Protection Commission (PDPC) is the regulatory body that ensures PDPA compliance in Singapore.
The objective of PDPA is framing policies and procedures for collecting, using and disclosing personal data and empowering individuals for more effective and better control of their data. Organisations are mandated for establishing reasonable purposes when collecting, using and disclosing personal data.
Personal data is defined as information about an individual which helps in identifying that individual and accessing other information about the individual.

How has PDPA evolved in Singapore?

The chronological order of events that took place about personal data protection and Singapore PDPA compliance are as under

How does the Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA) work?

Once sector-specific legislation and regulatory frameworks are critically reviewed, a reference standard for personal data protection is usually drawn across the entire economy by the PDPC for documenting PDPA. Singapore PDPA compliance becomes mandatory for organizations including compliance with common and industry/sector-specific regulations while handling personal data within their reach.

The below-mentioned aspects are the prime considerations of the PDPA while putting into force

Consent

Personal data can only be collected, used or disclosed by organisations with the individual’s knowledge and consent with a few exceptions.

Purpose

Personal data can only be collected, used or disclosed with specific purposes and in an appropriate manner for the circumstances and only when organisations keep the individuals appraised of such purposes.

Reasonableness

Personal data can only be collected, used or disclosed by organisations for purposes considered appropriate to a reasonable person in the given circumstances.

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What are the business obligations under PDPA?
There are nine obligations for organisations dealing with personal data specified under PDPA and include the following
Consent Obligation
Purpose Limitation Obligation
Notification Obligation
Access and Correction Obligation
Accuracy Obligation
Protection Obligation
Retention Limitation Obligation
Transfer Limitation Obligation
Openness Obligation

How do companies comply with PDPA Obligations?

Singapore Personal Data Protection Commission (PDPC) in its endeavour to make the compliance obligations more comprehensive, issued a 10 step PDPA checklist for Singapore PDPA compliance. The steps are

Why should an organisation opt for PDPA Compliance?

Businesses demonstrating PDPA compliance in Singapore are treated with more respect and enjoy enhanced customer loyalty. It also creates a more trusting environment amongst employees, customers and other stakeholders. Singapore PDPA compliance can help businesses improve overseas market share and avoid regulatory penalties imposed by authorities.

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