Updated: 12/31/2013 01:43

PDPC might review costs of DNC

PDPC might review costs of DNC

The Do Not Call Registry launches on Thursday, and the Personal Data Protection Commission says that costs for businesses have been kept as low as possible. 

And they might continue to review these costs in one to two years' time, to keep them down. 

Member of the Commission Aileen Chia tells 938LIVE of their plans. 

Here's our news desk with the details. 

The Do Not Call or DNC registry may only come into effect on 2nd January but already, it's been the subject of much debate. 

The reason? 

An 11th hour concession in the form of an exemption order. 

Under it, organisations are allowed to send text or fax messages to existing customers without having to check the Registry. 

Member of the Personal Data Protection Commission Aileen Chia explained the latest development on 938LIVE's Talkback programme this morning. 

Ms Chia, who's also a Deputy Director-General at the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore, says that businesses were consulted for a large part of the legislative framework. 

This includes deciding the parties to be charged and the types of messages to be barred. 

"As businesses start to prepare for compliance with the act, and especially after the commission issued our advisory guidelines and data protection business rules in September, many of the more nuanced questions on what constitutes 'in-service messages' started coming through. And it's only in the last two months, these sort of details were surfaced and clarifications were made: whether telemarketing messages made to a continuing, ongoing relationship should be strictly interpreted and be disallowed? So that's where we decided to make an exemption." 

And moving forward, she adds that the commission has its work cut out. 

As the registry takes effect on Thursday, it's likely to come under public scrutiny. 

"I suppose would be in the area of making sure that companies do not inadvertently call, make mistakes, or blatantly ignoring the law. So the enforcement part of the commission's work will be important." 

Apart from enforcement, adjustments might also be made to the costs borned by businesses. 

"We have tried to keep the cost down as far as possible for businesses. For a start, different tiers of pricing have gone out to businesses. Lower prices are available for numbers that are purchased in bulk. We are watching how the costs pan out and we do not rule out the possibility of reviewing these costs in a year or two's time, in trying to keep such costs low for businesses." 

-By Valerie Koh

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