About Personal Data: What Do I Need To Know?

What qualifies as personal data?

Based on the PDPA Guidelines, your personal data can be defined as “data, whether true or not, about an individual who can be identified – a) from that data; or b) from that data and other information to which the organisation has or is likely to have access”.

Examples of this would be your name, address, gender, email address, IC number, etc. As of 1 September 2019, the new guidelines issued by the Personal Data Protection Commission (PDPC) dictate that organisations will not be allowed to collect, use or disclose NRIC numbers unless required by the law. Do note that the PDPA does not apply to business contact information such as business title, business telephone number, business address and business e-mail

This topic revolving around privacy and personal data has become such a hot topic for discussion. We hope you take some time to read though this article to stay updated on the necessary actions to take to ensure that your personal data is not compromised.

Of course, in most cases, we would need to give up some form of personal data due to the nature of the business or transaction. How then, can we ensure that our personal data is handled lawfully, fairly and in a transparent manner as required by the PDPA?

Here are 7 tips that you can keep in mind when giving away your personal data:

#1 Provide consent

Firstly, you have to give either verbal, written, or even deemed consent for your personal data to be collected. Whether there is a checkbox to select or a signature line, ensure that you are aware of the consent that you are giving by completing that form/questionnaire.

What constitutes as consent would include: Voluntary provision or cases where it is reasonable to voluntarily provide the data. Do note that you also have a right to withdraw your consent at any time. One example would be the Do Not Call (DNC) registry where you can opt out of receiving unsolicited marketing messages and calls. You are able to lodge a complaint if you still receive such messages and calls, and the organisations involved would face a fine up to $10,000 per breach.

#2 intent of collection

Once you have given, or are deemed to have given, consent, the personal data collected can only be processed in an appropriate manner and for a reasonable purpose. You have the right to be informed of the purpose for which the personal data is being collected.

Be aware of what your information is being used for, read the security and privacy policies if you have the time. Read the fine print – you may be consenting to having your data be used for marketing or analysis. When you give your consent, you would be giving your consent to any terms that are mentioned in these documents.

#3 access to YOUR data

Individuals have the right to request who we provide access to and to make corrections to their personal data. There are some exceptions, such as cases in which providing access would cause immediate harm to the safety, or physical or mental heath, of the individual; threaten the safety, or physical or mental health, of another individual; or reveal another individual’s personal data.

#4 update YOUR data regularly

We must make a reasonable effort to ensure that all personal data collected is accurate and complete. It is likely that the personal data will be used to make a decision that affects the individual to whom it relates, or is likely to be disclosed to another organisation. In case of any changes to your personal data, you should be given the option to edit what you have previously given.

#5 protection of data

Organisations must protect personal data in their possession or control by making reasonable security arrangements to prevent unauthorised access, collection, use, disclosure, copying, modification, disposal or similar activity. Read the security and privacy policies of the companies that you are giving your data to.

#6 delete once obsolete

Organisations must cease retaining documents containing personal data, or anonymise that data, as soon as it is no longer needed for the purpose for which it was collected, or for other legal or business purposes. You have the right to request for your personal data to be deleted should you choose to move your business elsewhere.

#7 keep within bounds

Lastly, organisations must not transfer personal data outside Singapore except in accordance with the Act’s requirements, to ensure that they provide it a comparable standard of data protection.

At EventNook, we deal with a lot of personal data, so we practice extra caution in data handling and take pride in our commitment to protect all our customers’ personal data while delivering the results. If you have any questions on our data protection policies for your events, feel free to drop us an email or a call, our friendly team will be more than happy to assist you!


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