The personal data protection provisions in the Personal Data Protection Act 2012 (the "PDPA") shall come into force on 2 July 2014. In anticipation of this upcoming development, the Personal Data Protection Commission (the "Commission") has recently issued new regulations and finalised advisory guidelines, revised existing advisory guidelines and is also currently conducting a public consultation on additional advisory guidelines.

Set out below is a summary of these recent developments.

New PDPA regulations in force on 2 July 2014

The Personal Data Protection Regulations 2014 have been gazetted and shall come into operation on 2 July 2014. Essentially, the regulations set out provisions relating to:

  • Requests for access to and correction of personal data
  • Transfer of personal data outside Singapore
  • Exercise of rights under the PDPA in respect of a deceased individual

Revised advisory guidelines to include new chapters/sections on inbound data transfers, access and correction obligation, transfer limitation obligation and data activities relating to minors

On 16 May 2014, the Commission revised existing advisory guidelines to supplement the new regulations. The revisions relate to the inclusion of new chapters/sections on inbound data transfers, access and correction obligation, transfer limitation obligation and data activities relating to minors. Such advisory guidelines provide guidance on the manner in which the Commission will interpret provisions of the PDPA and are not legally binding.

The relevant documents available from the Commission's website www.pdpc.gov.sg are as follows:

Final advisory guidelines for real estate agency and telecommunication sectors

On 16 May 2014, the Commission issued the final advisory guidelines and their corresponding closing notes in relation to the telecommunication and real estate agency sectors. The advisory guidelines aim to address the unique circumstances faced by these two sectors in complying with the PDPA. For instance, the advisory guidelines for the telecommunication sector cover issues such as whether telephone numbers and international mobile equipment identity numbers are personal data under the PDPA and how the personal data protection provisions under the PDPA would apply in the case of inbound and outbound roaming, display of personal data in itemised bills, inclusion of advertisements with bills and pre-paid mobile services. The advisory guidelines for the real estate agency sector sets out various examples to illustrate the application of the PDPA, covering common scenarios such as the marketing of potential en-bloc sale, disclosure of client's personal data in a co-broking situation and marketing of newly- launched developments.

The relevant documents are available from the Commission's website as follows:

Public consultation on proposed advisory guidelines relating to education, healthcare, social service and photography

Between 16 May 2014 and 6 June 2014, the Commission is conducting a public consultation on proposed advisory guidelines relating to the education, healthcare and social service sectors. Similar to the advisory guidelines for the telecommunication and real estate agency sectors, these proposed advisory guidelines are intended to cover common situations which are unique to each sector. The Commission is also proposing advisory guidelines relating to photography which is an increasingly ubiquitous activity to address questions such as whether a photographer requires an individual's consent to take a photograph of the individual and how an individual's consent may be obtained for photo-taking at a private event/space. The relevant documents are available from the Commission's website as follows:

Do Not Call Registry

The provisions under the PDPA relating to the duty of organisations to check the Do Not Call Registry before sending telemarketing messages to consumers with Singapore telephone numbers via voice call, text message or fax came into force on 2 January 2014.