Reed Smith Client Alerts

On 5 October 2020, the Personal Data Protection (Amendment) Bill (Bill) was introduced and read for the first time in Parliament.

The Bill proposes significant changes to Singapore’s Personal Data Protection Act 2012 (PDPA). We have summarised these below, as we did in our earlier alert. The amendments seek to keep Singapore’s data protection laws up to date with evolving technology developments, as well as global regulatory trends, and to enhance its relevancy and attractiveness as a digital business hub for the region.

The Bill will come into force after two further readings in Parliament and the president’s assent. The date the Bill comes into force will be notified and published in the Government Gazette, and is currently expected to be before the end of 2020.

作者: Charmian Aw Carolyn Chia (Resource Law LLC)

What are the key changes in the Bill? 

There are several significant changes to the PDPA, in particular:

  1. A larger financial penalty for breaches
  2. Compulsory data breach reporting to the Personal Data Protection Commission (Commission) and affected individuals
  3. Expanded rules on deemed consent
  4. New exceptions to consent
  5. Tighter rules on telemarketing and spam control
  6. A new data portability obligation

1. A larger financial penalty for breaches

There will be an increase in the financial penalty that the Commission can impose on any organisation that infringes the PDPA. Previously, there was a maximum cap of SGD 1 million.

The Bill proposes to raise that cap to 10 per cent of an organisation’s gross annual turnover (AGT) in Singapore if its AGT in Singapore exceeds SGD 10 million, or SGD 1 million otherwise, whichever is higher.

What you should be doing now: As there is no ‘sunrise’ or transition period before the amendments kick in, any contravention of the PDPA (including of the new requirements) could lead to the increased penalty of up to 10 per cent of a business’s AGT in Singapore if its AGT exceeds SGD 10 million. Hence, businesses should take steps to comply with the new law now.