Jurisdiction - Singapore
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Singapore – Publishes Updated Regulations For Personal Data Protection Regime.

4 February, 2015

 

 
Updated regulations governing the appeals process relating to Singapore’s data protection laws have been published by the country’s Personal Data Protection Commission.
 

The regulations, which came into effect on 23 January 2015, cover procedures for the issuing and handling of appeals brought under section 34(1) of the Personal Data Protection Act 2012, No. 26 of 2012 (PDPA), which entered into force last year.

 

Under the PDPA, an appeal is made to the chairman of the Data Protection Appeal Panel (Appeal Panel), who may nominate a Data Protection Appeal Committee (Appeal Committee) to hear the appeal. The Seventh Schedule to the PDPA, which sets out the constitution and proceedings of the Appeal Panel and the Appeal Committee, has also been amended pursuant to the Personal Data Protection (Amendment of Seventh Schedule) Order 2015, which also came into effect on 23 January 2015.

 

According to the updated regulations, a hearing for an appeal will not “generally” be held in public “unless the Appeal Committee is satisfied that it is in the public interest to do so”.

 

However, even if a hearing is held in public, the Appeal Committee may still direct any evidence to be heard in private or recorded without being made available to the public.

 

Under the regulations, the Appeal Committee may also give directions to protect the confidentiality of any information or document relating to any appeal proceedings. Contravention of the Appeal Committee’s directions would be an offence, punishable on conviction of a fine of up to 2k Singapore dollars (USD 1,500), six months’ imprisonment or both.

 

Matters coming before an Appeal Committee will be decided by a majority of votes of those members present, with the presiding member of the Appeal Committee having a casting vote.

 

The regulations stipulate that the Appeal Committee has the power to summarily dismiss an appeal under a number of circumstances, such as where the Appeal Committee believes the appellant has “habitually and persistently, and without reasonable ground” made vexatious appeals or applications in the appeal proceedings.

 

According to the PDPA, the Appeal Committee also has the “same powers, rights and privileges as those vested in a District Court” on the hearing of an action. These include the powers to enforce the attendance of witnesses and the examination of witnesses on oath, powers to compel production of documents, and powers to award such costs or expenses as may be prescribed by the PDPA.

 

Pinsent Msaons MPillay

 

For further information, please contact:

 

Marc Dautlich, Partner, Pinsent Masons

marc.dautlich@pinsentmasons.com

 

Cerys Wyn Davies, Partner, Pinsent Masons

cerys.wyn-davies@pinsentmasons.com

 

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