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Asia

16 October 2017

Proposed Changes to Singapore’s Data Protection Act

On July 27, 2017, the Personal Data Protection Commission (PDPC) initiated a public consultation to consider several significant proposed changes to Singapore’s Personal Data Protection Act 2012 (PDPA). Citing technological advances and global developments, the PDPC proposed changes that would have the effect of (1) broadening the circumstances under which organizations could collect, use and disclose personal data without consent and (2) imposing a mandatory data breach notification requirement in certain situations.

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13 September 2017

EU Adequacy Ruling on Japan Expected

The EU Commission, through a joint statement on 4 July 2017 by Vera Jourova, EU Commissioner for Justice, and Haruchi Kumazawa, a Commissioner of Japan’s Personal Information Protection Commission, announced that the process is underway to provide Japan an EU adequacy decision on international data transfers by early 2018. Once approved, Japan will become the 13th country (crediting the US with an adequacy finding for organizations certifying under the Privacy Shield) globally and the first Asian country to be given adequate status by the EU Commission. (more…)

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11 September 2017

FinTech and Regulatory Sandboxes in the UK, Hong Kong and Singapore

As the FinTech industry continues to expand, regulators around the globe are starting to react. The past 18 months have seen the emergence of a new trend in financial services regulation, the “sandbox.”

Since the launch of the UK’s regulatory sandbox in May 2016, regulators across the globe have adopted similar frameworks. There are now regulatory sandboxes in Abu Dhabi, Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Lithuania, Singapore, Switzerland and Thailand, to name a few, and the European Union recently set out proposals for a possible EU-wide regulatory sandbox. (more…)

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04 August 2017

Singapore’s Privacy Watchdog Proposes Changes to Personal Data Protection Act

Singapore’s Personal Data Protection Commission (PDPC) has launched a public consultation into a proposed revision to the law that would require reporting of certain data breaches. Singapore currently uses a voluntary approach to data breach notifications, but, according to the PDPC, this has resulted in uneven notification practices. Under the proposals, it will be mandatory for organizations to inform customers of personal data breaches that pose any risk of impact or harm to the affected individual as soon as they are discovered. If an incident involves 500 or more individuals, organizations will need to notify the PDPC as soon as possible but no later than 72 hours after discovery of the breach. The proposals aim to allow individuals to take steps to protect their interests in the event of a data breach, for example, by changing their password. (more…)

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27 April 2017

Singapore’s Personal Data Protection Commission Publishes Advisory Guidelines on the Use of Anonymized Data

The Personal Data Protection Act, 2012 (PDPA), Singapore’s general data protection law, governs the collection, use and disclosure of personal data. The Singapore Personal Data Protection Commission (PDPC), which enforces the PDPA, recently updated the chapter on data anonymization found in its Advisory Guidelines (Guidelines). The Guidelines are not legally binding but provide guidance on how the PDPC will interpret the PDPA. The revisions encourage organizations to incorporate into the process of anonymizing data an inquiry into the risks that the data may be re-identified and any potential negative effect on the individuals involved rather than focusing purely on the various techniques to anonymize the data.

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12 April 2017

Proposed Strengthening of Singapore Cybersecurity Law

In keeping with Singapore’s recent emphasis on strengthening national cybersecurity protections, on March 9, 2017, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) announced proposed amendments to the existing Computer Misuse and Cybersecurity Act (CMCA). The proposed amendment, Bill No. 15/2017, would broaden the scope of the CMCA by criminalizing certain conduct not covered by the existing law and enhancing penalties in certain situations.

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31 January 2017

2016 Year in Review and 2017 Preview: Top Ten for Data Protection and Privacy

2016 was a year of seismic changes in the global data protection and privacy landscape.  Here, we look back at the top ten events and issues that shaped 2016, and are poised to shape the year ahead as well.

Year In Review

1. GDPR Adoption

On April 14, the European Parliament voted to adopt the long-awaited EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), formally completing adoption of the GDPR. The GDPR was published in the Official Journal of the EU on May 25, 2016, giving companies and Member States until the May 25, 2018 effective date to implement the Regulation fully. In the wake of its adoption, businesses should have planning under way for implementation of the significantly expanded Regulation by evaluating whether they are subject to the expanded jurisdiction, and if so, completing an internal gap analysis of current data protection practices as compared with the new requirements and rights under the Regulation. Some of the key aspects to consider include data breach response planning under the new 72-hour notice requirement, reviewing existing data protection notices and consents for the more robust obligations, identifying current profiling activities and existing data protection and retention policies and procedures, ensuring privacy impact assessments are carried out where required, and evaluating whether there is an obligation to appoint a data protection officer.  Despite the time until the effective date, the extensive preparation necessary to comply presents a challenge as companies around the world refocus resources to develop compliance plans.

2. Political Cyber Warfare

There is a new front in geopolitical battles.  (more…)

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15 November 2016

China Adopts Cyber Security Law

On November 7, 2016, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress of China promulgated the Cyber Security Law of the People’s Republic of China (the “Cyber Security Law”) after three rounds of readings in June 2015, June and October 2016, respectively.  The Cyber Security Law will enter into force on June 1, 2017.  As early as July 1, 2015, the National Security Law of the People’s Republic of China was promulgated, expressly providing that the state shall “safeguard sovereignty and security of cyberspace in the state,” a theme that is reiterated and emphasized in Article 1 of the Cyber Security Law.  The introduction of the concept of “cyber space sovereignty” in the Cyber Security Law echoes the views of President Xi Jinping, who is also the head of the Office of the Central Leading Group for Cyberspace Affairs, and who has stated in February 2014 that “[n]o cyber safety means no national security.”  Critically, the Cyber Security Law may have global implications, as the Law applies to both Chinese and international businesses engaging in the construction, operation, maintenance or use of information networks in China.

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