Do Not Call registry opens to consumers

PHOTO: Do Not Call registry opens to consumers

SINGAPORE - From today, consumers who do not wish to receive telemarketing messages can register their Singapore telephone numbers with the Do Not Call (DNC) Registry for free.

Consumers can list their telephone numbers in any or all of the three DNC Registers for voice calls, text messages and faxes through the DNC website at www.dnc.gov.sg. They can also do so via SMS or a toll-free phone number.

Under the requirements of the Personal Data Protection Act 2012 (PDPA), local and overseas organisations must check with the DNC Registry to ensure that the Singapore telephone numbers that they are sending telemarketing messages to are not listed in the DNC Registry.

Mr Leong Keng Thai, Chairman of the Personal Data Protection Commission (PDPC) said, "Consumers now have the flexibility to decide if and how they want to receive telemarketing messages. This also means consumers have a greater role to play in protecting their own data. The PDPC will monitor market developments and ensure that the DNC Registry benefits individuals and organisations".

Consumers who register from now till July 2 next year may still receive telemarketing messages for up to 60 days after registration.

Consumers who register after 2 July 2014 may still receive telemarketing messages for up to 30 days. This initial 60-day and subsequent 30-day timeframe is to give organisations time to familiarise themselves with the requirements of the DNC registry.

While registrations with the DNC Registry do not expire, consumers can deregister at any time. Terminated numbers will also be removed from the Registry.

Non-telemarketing messages such as those relating to surveys and customer service are excluded from the scope of the DNC Registry.

While organisations are required to seek consent before collecting, using, and transferring personal data, consumers also have a role to play to protect their personal data, the Personal Data Protection Commission (PDPC) said in a statement.

For example:

  • Consumers should only give consent to organisations from which they wish to receive telemarketing messages. With consent, organisations will be able to send telemarketing messages to consumers even if they have added their telephone numbers to the DNC Registry. If a consumer does not remember which organisations he/she has given consent to, he/she may contact the respective organisations to check.
  • Consumers should also contact the organisation to withdraw their consent, if they no longer wish to receive telemarketing messages.
  • If there is a potential breach, consumers may first approach the organisation to withdraw consent or request that they stop sending marketing messages, failing which they can complain to the PDPC.

DNC Registry for Organisations

Organisations are required to set up an account with the DNC Registry and submit their lists of telephone numbers.

Organisations can continue sending telemarketing messages to consumers who have registered with the DNC Registry, but only if they have obtained the consent of consumers.

From today, organisations can access the DNC website to create accounts and purchase credits to check telephone numbers.

Access to the registry will be closed to organisations from December 26 to January 1. They may start checking telephone numbers from January 2.

ljessica@sph.com.sg