T&Cs don't mean firms can sell your data

T&Cs don't mean firms can sell your data

SINGAPORE - There will soon be more protection for consumers' personal details when they sign up for services, which could save them grief from receiving unsolicited marketing calls or e-mail messages.

In some cases, companies offering the services cannot insist that the details collected from consumers be sold to third parties, if doing so is beyond what is reasonable for the company to provide the services. This is based on Government guidelines released yesterday.

For example, a customer signs up for a spa package, and the terms and conditions state that the spa company might share and sell her personal details to third-party marketing agencies.

The customer requests that this disclosure not be done, but the spa refuses, citing how the terms and conditions are standard, and she must agree to them.

In this case, even if the customer agrees for her details to be sold to third parties, permission to do so is not considered valid since it is beyond what is reasonable for providing spa services.

The customer should be able to sign up for the package without having to agree to the disclosure and sale of her details.

A company doing otherwise could face penalties, such as a fine of up to $1 million, under the Personal Data Protection Act.

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