Singapore plans data portability requirement as part of PDPA update

As part of the ongoing review of the Personal Data Protection Act 2012 (PDPA), Singapore intends to introduce a data portabilityrequirement. As data portability is a recent global development, a Data Portability Discussion Paperhas 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 – especially with cross-sectoral implementation – 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 organisations 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. 

The Discussion Paper was announced by S Iswaran, Minister for Communications and Information, at the Global System for Mobile Communications’ (GSMA) Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain recently.

Iswaran said, “Data is a key enabler of digital transformation, but a delicate balance must be struck between data protection and business innovation. 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 flows 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.” 

In a Digital Economy, a key source of innovation lies in emerging technologies enabling new business models that transcend traditional sectoral boundaries. Cross-sectoral data portability is expected to support such innovation – such as facilitating the porting of consumers’ data across service providers while also giving businesses more access to data. 

The Discussion Paper was developed by the Personal Data Protection Commission of Singapore (PDPC) in collaboration with the Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore (CCCS). More details about the Discussion Paper can be found in Annex A. 

Singapore aims to advance its vision to be a leading Digital Economy and Smart Nation, continually embracing digital transformation and reinventing itself to remain globally competitive. The Discussion Paper is part of Singapore’s efforts to do so through investing and building capabilities to support the growth of emerging technologies.