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17 Oct 2019
Privacy and Data Protection Act
Feedback View - 290
A bad law that cause a lot of damage

The PDPA is a bad law that has caused a lot of damage to our economy and daily life.

It was originally passed to protect consumers from being harassed by marketeers who call their mobile phones or sent unwanted SMS to these phones.

It did not achieve this goal which was the rationale for its existence. Consumers continue to get these unwanted calls and SMS. Complaints to the PDPA agency were ineffective. 

Instead of doing good, it has caused a lot of harm. How many times have we heard messages from automated call centers telling us that we have to agree to give our data in order to get service from the business. If we do not consent, we will not be served. This is like holding customers to ransom. 

I have heard the messages several thousand times over the years. It is extremely irritating. It comes on top of bad call center protocols that are implemented by nearly all companies. It makes communication stressful and difficult.

I have seen banks and telephone companies asking for all kinds of private information, including irrelevant ones, and the consumers has to agree to provide the information and allow its extensive use as the price to pay to get essential services. 

If this is to be the case, it is better to write in the law that the business can use the private information, rather than to ask the consumers to give their consent each and every time, to this mockery of privacy.

The next big disaster is the law that forbid businesses to use the NRIC as a source of identification. It is a stupid law that will cause add a lot of unnecessary cost to business and hassle to consumers and not achieve any useful purpose.

We have already seen some companies spend probably millions of dollars to change their computer system to avoid the use of NRIC. Many other companies, such as banks and telephone companies, have not embarked on this change. They must have been given additional lead time.

Why is it that our smart and well paid ministers and civil servants cannot see the harm that is being created by this useless law. It is like people who are afraid of telling the emperor that he has no clothes in the fairy tale.

LHL - are you listening?

Tan Kin Lian

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