The National Trust Council Seeks Public Feedback - On Model Data Protection Code for the Private Sector

In today's information economy where vast amounts of data are collected and transmitted via the Internet, data protection is becoming a growing concern for both businesses and consumers. To facilitate the growth of e-commerce ...

Singapore, 7 Feburary 2002 | For Immediate Release

 In today's information economy where vast amounts of data are collected and transmitted via the Internet, data protection is becoming a growing concern for both businesses and consumers. To facilitate the growth of e-commerce in Singapore, relevant data protection measures are necessary to safeguard the interests of businesses and consumers. With this objective in mind, the National Internet Advisory Committee (NIAC) developed a Model Data Protection Code for the Private Sector.

The intent of the Model Code's intent is in line with the National Trust Council's (NTC) charter to build confidence amongst businesses and consumers in online transactions so as to spur e-commerce growth. Therefore the NTC has adopted the Code and is launching a public consultation exercise to seek comments and feedback from members of the industry and the public.

The Model Code is a voluntary Code outlining the NIAC's views on what constitutes fair information principles. Adoption of the Code is on a voluntary basis as industry self-regulation is seen as an effective means of promoting public confidence in online transactions. The Code, which is modelled on internationally recognised standards1 Includes the 1980 OECD Guidelines on the Protection of Privacy and Transborder Flows of Personal Data; the 1995 EU Directive; and the 1996 Canadian Standards Association's Model Code for the Protection of Personal Information., serves to establish minimum acceptable standards for electronic data protection. In addition, it promotes the harmonisation of electronic data protection principles as it provides a template that can be adapted and used across industry sectors. This will enable a seamless transfer of data within the private sector.

The NTC recognises that a secure transaction environment is the first step to boosting user confidence in e-commerce. To nurture such an environment, a secure and robust infrastructure provides the crucial foundation. To complement this, online merchants have to engage in sound e-business practices such as safeguarding customers' personal data and using the information in a responsible manner. The NTC's TrustSg Programme promotes sound e-business practices. Data protection, which is incorporated under the TrustSg Core Principles, contributes to sound e-business practices.

"We strongly encourage industry organisations and members of the public to share their views and comments with us through this Public Consultation Exercise. It is through such a consultative approach that the Code can be refined to address the interests of both the consumers and online businesses. The Council believes that the industry's and consumers' acceptance and support of the Code will boost user confidence in e-commerce", said Dr Wang Kai Yuen, Chairman of the NTC.

The consultation period starts today and closes on 6 May 2002. All views and comments should be submitted in writing and are to reach the NTC by 12 noon, 6 May 2002. A Working Committee which comprises NTC members, industry representatives and individuals, has been set up to review the feedback received and make recommendations for the NTC's consideration. The NTC will make public its decision on the implementation of the Model Code by 3rd Quarter 2002.

The consultation paper and Model Code can be downloaded from CaseTrust. Feedback can be submitted via email to admin@trustsg.org.sg, or through the post addressed to:

National Trust Council Secretariat
8 Temasek Boulevard
#14-00 Suntec Tower Three
Singapore 038988


ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL TRUST COUNCIL

Notes to the Editor :

1 Includes the 1980 OECD Guidelines on the Protection of Privacy and Transborder Flows of Personal Data; the 1995 EU Directive; and the 1996 Canadian Standards Association's Model Code for the Protection of Personal Information

About the National Trust Council

NTC is an industry-led body that was formed with the mission to build confidence amongst businesses and consumers so as to spur e-commerce growth in Singapore. Established in March 2001, it is chaired by Dr Wang Kai Yuen, Managing Director of Xerox Singapore Software Centre.

About TrustSg

The TrustSg Programme is an accreditation scheme that awards online merchants with the TrustSg seal if they meet the NTC's stringent standards. This is an important initiative which will contribute towards the development of Singapore as a trusted e-commerce hub. The benefits are two-fold. Accredited online merchants receive due recognition for their sound e-commerce practices, secure infrastructure, and their proper treatment of customers' personal data. Consumers in return, will feel assured to transact with a TrustSg merchant, thus gaining the sense of confidence in online transactions.

About the Model Code

The Model Code is a voluntary Code which sets out 11 data protection principles for adoption by the private sector. The principles are:

  • Accountability
  • Identifying purposes
  • Consent
  • Limiting collection
  • Limiting use, disclosure and retention
  • Accuracy
  • Safeguards
  • Openness
  • Individual access
  • Challenging compliance
  • Transborder data flows (optional)

For media clarification, please contact:

National Trust Council Secretariat
c/o Ms CHIA Sher Ling
DID: (65) 211-1840
Email: chia_sher_ling@imda.gov.sg

Last updated on: 10 Jun 2019