'Singapore Data Protection Law Expected to be Introduced in 2012'

February 15, 2011


Singapore’s Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts announced in Parliament that a new data protection bill will likely be introduced in early 2012. The government believes that it is in Singapore’s best interests to establish a data protection regime to protect individuals\' personal data against unauthorized use and disclosure for profit.

The new data protection law is expected to target businesses that collect personal data of individuals, particularly those engaging in excessive and unnecessary collection of personal data. It is envisaged that obtaining the consent of individuals to disclose their personal information will be a requirement under such proposed law. A Data Protection Council will likely be established to oversee the implementation of the legislation.

Singapore does not presently have a generic, omnibus privacy or data protection law. Instead, the collection and use of personal data are regulated to a certain extent by a patchwork of laws, including (i) the common law, (ii) sector-specific legislation (such as the Banking Act (Cap. 19) and the Computer Misuse Act (Cap. 50A)), and (iii) various self-regulatory or co-regulatory codes.

As a global ecommerce company with strong regional presence, eBay welcomes this decision and hopes to be a relevant partner as the authorities draft the data protection bill. A first of its kind in the region, the bill will certainly have regional impact once passed.