Today, we’re starting to understand the importance of privacy, and companies and organizations are having to take measures to protect the people they do business with.
In Singapore, recent legislation has doubled down on these efforts. In 2018, Singapore passed the Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA). With this act, there are new guidelines going into place, that dictate how organizations can use the information and data from your National Registration Identification Card (NRIC).
These changes went into place on Sept. 1.
Below we’ll take a look at these new PDPC guidelines and how they can affect your privacy and the way that business is conducted.
1. The New Policy Cuts Out the Frivolous Collection of Information
In addition to protecting the health and safety of people in the workplace, measures are being taken to also protect privacy. The new PDPC guidelines are largely put into place so that organizations can’t frivolously collect information from your NRIC.
After the new guidelines went into effect, organizations can no longer get your NRIC info unless you’re setting up utilities, going to the doctor, opening a phone line, and other such matters.
They’ll only take your info in situations where it’s important to verify your info so that you are better able to protect your privacy.
Make sure that you keep your NRIC info up to date so that you’re protected. For instance, you will want to update your card if you happen to change your address or other types of important information.
2. There are Specific Instances Where Collecting NRIC Info is Required By Law
While organizations are reducing the use and collection of NRIC, you need to be aware of the situations where it’s required by law.
For instance, a hotel will require your NRIC information in order for you to check-in. When you take a new job, your employer will collect your NRIC info so that the human resources department can process you as a new employee.
What’s more, phone companies signing up customers for new lines will collect NRIC information, as will doctors and other medical professionals.
3. Companies are Pushed to Find Alternatives to NRIC Numbers
When at all possible, organizations are pushed to take in other information, as opposed to your NRIC number.
For instance, they can take a copy of your passport in order to verify your identity. Places of employment should look into creating and using visitor badges and other forms of identity verification, as opposed to NRIC info.
You can also use some alternatives like collecting a person’s cell phone number, their vehicle’s license plate number, and other sorts of identifying information.
4. There are Strong Limits on Sharing NRIC Numbers
Aside from collecting NRIC information, companies and organizations will also have limits on how they can share the information that they receive.
The only situations where organizations are allowed to share your NRIC information are when required by law, such as for a police investigation or government inquiry.
Organizations also won’t be allowed to share things like your birth certificate number or work permit number.
5. It’s Important to Do Away With the Collection of Physical NRIC Numbers
When at all possible, organizations are urged to do away with the collection of physical NRIC numbers. This is a security measure since it’s a liability to have this sort of information on hard storage.
Instead of having your security desk collect NRIC numbers, it may be easier to simply control your entry points and exits to simplify the process, as opposed to running the risk of compromising people’s information by keeping physical copies.
6. Partial NRIC Numbers Can Be Used
Moving forward, your full NRIC number won’t be stored in an organization’s system. Instead, only partial numbers will be retained in the system for security purposes.
This is similar to how in the United States, companies will ask for the last four digits of a person’s social security number (SSN) to verify a person’s identity, rather than the entire number.
An organization can keep the last three digits of your NRIC number, for instance, while blocking out the rest and storing the information in a securely encrypted system.
7. The Collection of NRIC Numbers Can Only Be Done in Important Situations
Finally, there are some important situations in which NRIC numbers can be collected for security measures.
For instance, companies are able to use their discretion and collect NRIC information whenever a person poses a security threat. A person wandering through a daycare, for example, might pose a viable threat to the point that you need to ask for and verify their NRIC info.
It’s important to get to know these new guidelines so that you understand your rights. All of these matters came into play Sept. 1, from which point all companies and organizations must be compliant.
Get to Know the New PDPC Guidelines
These points are useful to be familiar with so that you can get to know the new PDPC guidelines and how they might affect you.
If you live and work in Singapore, these PDPC guidelines are crucial to know moving forward. That way, you can protect your personal rights to privacy.
Places of employment particularly need to be mindful of these changes, so that they can protect their employee’s information. Be sure to keep your NRIC up to date and get to know your rights as a citizen.
Stay tuned for more news related to business and commerce.