The importance of Data Protection in Singapore

Data has become increasingly valuable with the emergence and usage of big data commercially. At the same time, methods on retrieval of types of personal data have also evolved. With this opportunity, comes a series of risks. Unauthorized or careless processing of personal data can cause data loss which can then lead to security breaches and monetary damages.

The importance of Data Protection in Singapore

In Singapore, there are some proposed changes to the data protection law to include stiffer penalties for breaches. If passed, liable organizations could be fined up to 10% of their annual gross turnover, or $1 million, whichever is higher, for their data breaches.

View more information here

Impacts of breaches for companies:

Data loss and breaches are a major inconvenience for any business. It can also be costly for business to repair or retrieve damaged files. If data breaches are accompanied by security breaches, then companies may not just suffer monetary losses but also damage to their reputation, which can be difficult to recover from.

Here are some key statistics around company data loss:

  • 20% of companies experienced that data loss cost them anywhere between $50,000-$5 million SGD
  • 67% of data loss is caused by hard drive crashes or system failure
  • 14% of data loss is caused by human error
  • 10% of data loss is a result of software failure

More information on the impact and cost of data loss can be found here

Impacts of breaches for individuals:

Breaches of personal data violate the rights and freedoms of individuals.  This takes place when an individual’s data can be used against them or exploited or sold which can sometimes lead to data being used in criminal acts.

More information to managing data breaches can be found on the PDPC guide here

Why is data protection important for companies?

Data protection regulations are necessary to ensure fair, consumer-friendly trade and service provision. To ensure that personal data is secure, it is important to identify and document what data is processed, why it is processed, and what reasons the data will be used for.

The impact of COVID-19 on the adoption of data

With the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses have started digitally transforming their business globally and have increased internet use and digitalization by up to 70%. A number of online streaming softwares have gained popularity due to companies who have used the tools for virtual meetings while working remotely. This optimism was short lived when there were reports of cyber security breaches of this streaming softwares worldwide. The COVID-19 pandemic has set a new precedent on internet use and data collection globally and that data protection is now more important than ever.

How are companies adapting to the change?

Companies are refining and improving their data protection policies so that it is in accordance with the local and international data protection laws so they can minimize the risk and potential penalties. Many companies are also making changes to their existing Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) on how personal data is being collected, stored, and used. Companies are also  documenting and communicating their data storage internally and externally.  

Need help managing your Data Protection requirements in Singapore?

Hawksford works with a trusted DPO partner to bring you dedicated expertise in a wide-range of data protection matters to help keep costs low while you focus on growing your business.

Contact our expert team today