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Everything you need to know about data portability, but is too troublesome to ask …

By Lyn Boxall, Director, Lyn Boxall LLC



On Thursday 14 May 2020, the Ministry of Communications and Information and the Personal Data Protection Commission of Singapore launched an online public consultation of the Personal Data Protection (Amendment) Bill 2020.


The concept of data portability is something that I saw for the first time in the General Data Protection Regulation, the GDPR. The basic idea is that data portability gives individuals more control over their own personal data. It enables an individual to receive the personal data about them that an organisation has been processing and transmit it to another organisation.


This may, for example, make it easier for an individual to transfer their business from one organisation to another more competitive organisation that offers them lower prices, without the individual having to go through a great deal of hassle in getting the new organisation familiar with their past history of transactions, preferences or other relevant factors.


Evidently, the Commission has been keen on exploring the concept of data portability in Singapore for at least a year and, quite possibly, much longer. It issued a consultation paper on it in May 2019 and received quite a bit of feedback. Now we see its final proposals in the form of data portability provisions in the draft amendment bill. The consultation document says that the data portability will give individuals greater choice and control over their personal data, prevent consumer lock-in and enable switching to new services.


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