Singapore commission responds to criticism on Do-Not-Call exemption: In response to a storm of public criticism over its announcement on Thursday of an exemption on the Do-Not-Call- national registry, the Personal Data Protection Commission (PDPC) has released a statement explaining the intent of the exemption.
The registry is intended to protect the public from unwanted communication from telemarketers, and is due to go into effect on January 2.
On Thursday, the commission said in a statement that organizations will still be able to send text or fax messages on related products and services to customers and members who already have an ongoing relationship with them.
Many people interpreted this exemption as a major concession from the PDPC to those firms.
But a PDPC spokesman on Friday said that the concession does not dilute the original intention of the Do-Not-Call registry, according to reports.
Responding to the public criticism, he said “The exemption order is not a back-pedalling on the DNC registry”.
The spokesman explained, “The intent of the exemption order is to enable individuals to receive a subset of messages which they may otherwise not receive if their Singapore telephone numbers are on the DNC Registry.”
Exempt messages include information about products related to consumers’ “ongoing relationship” with the vendors.
For example, the PDPC explained, a bank or credit card company will be able to send existing customers messages about related services, such as a rewards programme for credit card holders.
The PDPC said it recognizes that consumers may wish to continue receiving this kind of information in a minimally intrusive manner – by text or fax messages.
The exemption, however, does not apply to voice calls. Therefore, organizations are still required to check the DNC registry before making telemarketing calls to promote related products and services.
The PDPC also explained that the exempt messages must contain an opt-out facility that the consumer may use to select to opt out of receiving any further messages from the organization to that Singapore telephone number.
When a consumer opts out, the firm can no longer rely on the exemption and must stop sending such messages to that telephone number 30 days after the individual opts out, the PDPC added.
The PDPC issued a new set of advisory guidelines one week prior to the registry’s launch.