top of page

PDPA Obligations and How to Comply with Them


The Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA) is a Singaporean law that governs the collection, use, and disclosure of personal data. It aims to safeguard the personal data of individuals and promote responsible data practices among organizations. Under the PDPA, organizations are required to comply with certain obligations to ensure that personal data is managed in a fair and transparent manner. We'll take a deep dive into the essential obligations under the PDPA and provide practical tips on how to comply with them.


Consent Obligation

Under the PDPA, organizations must obtain the consent of individuals before collecting, using, or disclosing their personal data. Consent must be given voluntarily, and individuals must be informed of the purpose of the collection, use, or disclosure. To comply with this obligation, organizations should provide clear and concise information about their data practices and obtain explicit consent from individuals. They should also give individuals the option to withdraw their consent at any time.


Purpose Limitation Obligation

Organizations must collect, use, or disclose personal data only for the purpose for which it was collected or a purpose directly related to it. They must also inform individuals of the purposes for which their personal data will be collected, used, or disclosed. To comply with this obligation, organizations should ensure that personal data is collected only for specific and legitimate purposes. They should also review their data practices regularly to ensure that personal data is not being used for unintended purposes.


Notification Obligation

Under the PDPA, organizations must inform individuals of the purposes for which their personal data will be collected, used, or disclosed. They must also provide information about their data protection policies and practices. To comply with this obligation, organizations should provide clear and concise notices to individuals that are easy to understand. They should also review their notices regularly to ensure that they are up-to-date and accurate.


Access and Correction Obligation

Organizations must allow individuals to access their personal data and correct any errors or omissions. They must also respond to requests for access and correction within a reasonable time. To comply with this obligation, organizations should establish procedures for handling access and correction requests. They should also ensure that personal data is accurate and up-to-date.


Data Retention Obligation

Under the PDPA, organizations must not retain personal data for longer than is necessary for the purpose for which it was collected. They must also ensure that personal data is securely disposed of when it is no longer needed. To comply with this obligation, organizations should establish retention policies and schedules. They should also ensure that personal data is securely disposed of in a manner that prevents unauthorized access or disclosure.


Protection Obligation

Organizations must protect personal data in their possession or under their control by making reasonable security arrangements. They must also ensure that their employees, contractors, and third-party service providers comply with the PDPA. To comply with this obligation, organizations should implement appropriate technical and organizational measures to protect personal data. They should also provide regular training and awareness programs for their employees, contractors, and third-party service providers.


Transfer Limitation Obligation

Under the PDPA, organizations must ensure that personal data transferred outside Singapore is protected by a standard of protection comparable to the protection under the PDPA. To comply with this obligation, organizations should establish safeguards to protect personal data during cross-border transfers. These safeguards may include obtaining the individual's consent, ensuring that the recipient organization is bound by similar data protection laws, or implementing contractual clauses that provide for the protection of personal data during transfers.


Accuracy Obligation

Organizations must make reasonable efforts to ensure that personal data is accurate and up-to-date. They must also correct any errors or omissions in personal data within a reasonable time. To comply with this obligation, organizations should establish procedures for verifying the accuracy of personal data. They should also ensure that personal data is updated when necessary and that any corrections are made promptly.


Accountability Obligation

Under the PDPA, organizations are accountable for the personal data in their possession or under their control. They must implement policies and practices to ensure compliance with the PDPA and take responsibility for the actions of their employees, contractors, and third-party service providers. To comply with this obligation, organizations should establish a data protection framework that includes policies, procedures, and controls to ensure compliance with the PDPA. They should also appoint a data protection officer to oversee data protection activities and ensure that employees, contractors, and third-party service providers are aware of their data protection obligations.


Data Breach Notification Obligation

Organizations must notify affected individuals and the Personal Data Protection Commission (PDPC) of any data breaches that may result in significant harm or impact to individuals. To comply with this obligation, organizations should establish procedures for detecting and reporting data breaches. They should also provide clear and concise notifications to affected individuals and the PDPC, outlining the nature and extent of the breach, the personal data involved, and the measures taken to mitigate the impact.


Transfer of Business Obligation

Transfer Limitation Obligation (TLO) is a legal obligation that restricts the transfer or disclosure of certain information to third parties. This could be due to contractual agreements, privacy regulations, intellectual property rights, or national security concerns.

To fulfill TLO, you should first identify what information is subject to the obligation. Then, you can implement access controls, such as passwords and encryption, to restrict access to the information. It's also important to train employees on the proper handling of restricted information and to limit disclosures to only those who have a legitimate need-to-know basis. Finally, maintaining documentation of the measures taken to fulfill TLO is essential to ensure compliance with legal and contractual obligations. Failure to fulfill TLO could result in legal and reputational consequences, so it's important to take it seriously.


The PDPA imposes several obligations on organizations that collect, use, or disclose personal data. To comply with these obligations, organizations must establish policies and procedures that ensure the fair and transparent management of personal data. They must also implement appropriate technical and organizational measures to protect personal data and respond to requests for access and correction in a timely manner. By following these best practices, organizations can promote responsible data practices and build trust with their customers.


References:
  1. Personal Data Protection Commission. (n.d.). Overview of the PDPA. https://www.pdpc.gov.sg/Overview-of-PDPA/The-Legislation

  2. Personal Data Protection Commission. (n.d.). Guide to Data Protection. https://www.pdpc.gov.sg/-/media/Files/PDPC/PDF-Files/Resources/Guide-to-Data-Protection.pdf

  3. Singapore Statutes Online. (n.d.). Personal Data Protection Act. https://sso.agc.gov.sg/Act/PDPA2012





Commentaires


Disclaimer: The information provided on all our blog post is intended for general informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. The author and publisher are not liable for any damages or losses resulting from reliance on this information. It is recommended to consult with a legal professional for specific advice regarding PDPA compliance and other related data privacy obligations.

bottom of page