Singapore passes data protection Bill into law

Singapore's parliament passed a personal data protection bill on 15 October, reports The bill, which applies to the private sector, is set to become law in January 2013, with enforcement to begin 18 months later.

Singapore will establish a Personal Data Protection Commission to enforce the law, and it is expected that a Do-Not-Call registry will be launched by early 2014. The Commission will be able to impose fines of up to 1 million Singapore dollars (800,000 U.S. dollars) for every offence and penalties of 10,000 Singapore dollars (8,000 U.S. dollars) for every unsolicited marketing call or message to a number in the "Do Not Call" registry.

Private sector organisations will need to designate staff to be responsible for compliance with the law. In the public sector, several laws already have privacy provisions.

Yaacob Ibrahim, Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts, said the bill will strengthen Singapore's status as a trusted hub and choice location for global data management and processing services.

Read more about this topic in the December issue of Privacy Laws & Business International Report