Businesses relying on SMS/MMS marketing and telemarketing will face a challenge once the Do Not Call registry takes effect in Singapore on 2 January 2014.
The Do Not Call (DNC) registry allows consumers to exclude themselves from receiving unsolicited telemarketing messages via text, calls or fax. Once registered, consumers can enjoy this free service until they withdraw their application or terminate their registered numbers.
To ensure that the DNC registry will benefit both consumers and businesses, a three-week long public consultation exercise was launched yesterday at the Personal Data Protection Commission and Inaugural Personal Data Protection Seminar.
The public consultation seeks views on the methods and requirements for the number registration on the registry, business operating rules and proposed charges to be levied for this service.
The final business operations rules will be published on the Personal Data Protection Commission (PDPC) website and shared with organisations through industry briefings in Q3 of 2013.
Steps organisations have to take
Once the DNC registry is in effect, organisations will need to verify that the telephone numbers they intend to use for tele-, SMS or fax marketing are not listed on the DNC registry.
To do so, organisations will have to apply for a main login account that can allow up to 20 sub-accounts for large companies through the DNC registry website. A creation fee of S$30 (US$24) will be levied on each main and sub-account. For smaller companies, each main account will be given 350 free numbers to check annually.
After logging into their accounts, organisations can submit the telephone number to be checked and the results will show if the number is listed in any of the three registers: No Voice Call, No Text Messages or No Fax Messages.
Preparing businesses for the full Personal Data Protection Act
The DNC registry is part of the Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA) that will take full effect in 2 July 2014.
"The PDPA aims to protect consumers' personal data against misuse while promoting proper management of personal data in organisations... [which indirectly helps companies] to gain consumers' trust and confidence," said Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, Minister for Communications and Information at yesterday's seminar. Thus, organisations must notify their customers the purposes of collecting their personal data and seek consent before using them.
To educate organisations on the PDPA to ensure its compliance, the PDPC will offer the following help:
- fortnightly workshops and annual seminars to develop organisations' capabilities and knowledge of the PDPA and personal data protection;
- customised advice on personal data protection in Singapore to reduce the uncertainty they face with respect to compliance with PDPA; and
- an online repository of resources on the subject for organisations and consumers on its website.
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