Singapore to add data sharing requirement to Personal Data Protection Act

Consumers will be able to switch from one service provider to another without losing their records like purchase history.

Singapore has announced it plans to introduce a data sharing requirement to improve its Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA) at the 2019 Mobile World Congress.

The PDPA, which acts like the GDPR, was drawn up in 2012 and came into full effect in 2014, governs the way companies in Singapore can collect, store, use and disclose data.

The new requirement, which is called data portability officially, wants to ensure consumers in Singapore are able to switch from one service provider to another without losing their records like purchase histories. It will also allow them to transfer their data to another service provider in a different industry.

For example, a person who uses smartwatches will have data like height and weight that is stored with the manufacturer will be able to transfer this data to an insurance company. The insurance company may then determine whether or not the person’s lifestyle makes them less of a risk and if they are able to buy a more attractive insurance plan.

A data portability discussion paper has been issued to provide greater clarity of its benefits in support of a Smart Nation and a Digital Economy and commence discussions on its effective implementation.

The discussion paper explains how data portability supports business innovation and drives competition while empowering consumers with greater control over their data. It also provides a framework for data originators, data recipients, and consumers to understand and discuss data portability.

This includes issues such as how organizations would provide consumers with sufficient information about how ported data will be used and the data recipient’s data protection practices, and the need for interoperability and security standards to reduce friction between data originators and recipients.

“Data is a key enabler of digital transformation, but a delicate balance must be struck between data protection and business innovation,” said S Iswaran, the minister for communications and information.

“Today, Singapore is issuing a discussion paper on data portability, which sets out our thoughts through the lens of personal data protection, competition and data flow to support services and innovation in the digital economy. We hope more can join us in this international discourse and work together to build a trusted global environment for business innovation.”

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