When the Personal Data Protection Commission (PDPC) announced last week its last-minute exemptions to the eagerly anticipated Do Not Call (DNC) registry, consumers who had signed up for it cried foul.
I, too, was disappointed. But not for the reasons you think.
Despite accusations that PDPC has "diluted" the original intention of the registry, the changes are by no means out of the ordinary.
Actually, the rules here are still stricter than those in many other countries.
For example, under DNC rules in Australia, the US, the UK and Canada, telemarketers can still call you if you have an existing relationship with them or under certain circumstances. This is even after you have signed up to be in the registry.
In Singapore, they are only allowed to text or fax you if there is a relationship. And even then, only under certain conditions.
What I was disappointed with was the response PDPC gave to criticisms by consumers that the exemptions constituted "back-pedalling" on the DNC registry.
The spokesman said that after consulting businesses on how to deal with communications with existing customers, it received "feedback that some consumers with ongoing relationships with organisations expect to receive promotion offers related to their memberships and subscriptions".