GDPR and PDPA Compliance for Singapore Company: Types & Steps

The goal of GDPR and PDPA Compliance for Singapore Company is to defend the rights and liberties pertaining to individual data security and privacy and safeguard such data. Failing to provide such security can lead to dire consequences.


    Note:This form is not for job seekers

    or salary employees.

    Table of Contents

    gdpr and pdpa compliance for singapore company

    Overview: GDPR and PDPA Compliance for Singapore Company

    Over the last decade, authorities and political activists have worked together to assure the security of personal data that technological corporations collect in the course of their operations. The goal is to defend the rights and liberties pertaining to individual data security and privacy and safeguard such data. Failing to provide such security can lead to dire consequences.

    Numerous governments have implemented new legislation that limits how our confidential information can be collected and utilized by any organization with the potential to do so. New security or data security regulations make it illegal to disclose or exploit personal details. Singapore is one of the most extensive legislation in this area, balancing technological advancement with privacy rights. These restrictions apply to all Singapore-based businesses.

    What is PDPA?

    PDPA stands for Personal Data Protection Act 2012. 

    It establishes a minimum level of personal data security in Singapore. It works in conjunction with industry-specific laws and regulations structures including the Banking Law and the Insurance Law. The act’s principal goal is to make sure that all personal information is handled in a way that protects people’s confidentiality and property rights, and that businesses only use it for legal business objectives.

    It lays out the rules for the acquisition, usage, dissemination, and storage of private information in Singapore. It also requires the creation of a nationwide DNC Registration. Consumers can opt-out of receiving unsolicited marketing calls from organizations by registering their Singapore contact information with the DNC database.

    Read more: Opening a corporate bank account in Singapore

    Types of data PDPA protects

    The PDPA safeguards private details, which is defined as any data right or wrong about a person who may be recognized from that documentation, or from that data and additional details to which the organization has or may have the reference.

    Types of data that PDPA protects are as follows:

    • Name of an individual
    • Picture or video of the individual
    • Fingerprint
    • His or her contact information
    • A recorded voice clip of the individual
    • The number is provided in the individual’s passport
    • National registration identity card number
    • Foreign Identification number
    • DNA Profile
    • Iris Image

    Personal details do not include business associate information such as name and company name, business contact information, business address, and website.

    Who must comply with the PDPA?

    The Singapore Data Protection Law may appear onerous, yet it contains many similar requirements as the European Union’s GDPR regulations. If your company is already GDPR compliant, there’s not much you’ll have to do to meet Singapore’s data protection laws.

    Organizations functioning in Singapore, businesses, and unorganized bodies must comply with PDPA guidelines governing the collection, usage, and disclosure of personal information. Employees of a company must follow the company’s rules to ensure PDPA adherence in the course of their employment. Workers cannot be held individually accountable for a company’s PDPA violation.

    The act does not bind the following individuals:

    • People operating in their personal or private lives.
    • Governmental organizations.
    • In processing of personal data of the organizations functioning on behalf of the community authority.

    Steps for PDPA compliance

    If your business gathers, uses, or exposes personal data in Singapore, you must comply with the following requirements:

    Get a Data Privacy Officer:

    Your Singapore company must appoint at least an individual as a Data Security Officer, who will be in charge of ensuring that the organization adheres with the PDPA. Responsibilities of the DPO may be outsourced to:

    • One or a team of people whose main responsibility is the security of data.
    • Workers accept this position as one of their many obligations.
    • A third-party network provider.

    The public must have access to the data security officer’s business contact details.

    Notify Reasons and Obtain Approval:

    Clients should not be compelled to consent to the collection of personal data that goes beyond what is requested to provide the service or product. Only use the information for the purposes for which permission is given. When collecting any PD, notify the client of the reason for the processing and obtain their approval. Any registration form might include the agreement section.

    When customers inquire about PD, reply as follows:

    When a customer requests information about the personal data your business has gathered on that particular individual over the previous year, you must respond as quickly as feasibly possible. You could impose a minor price to access the operational expenses of the request. If you are unable to react within a month, you must contact the person and let him or her know when you will be capable of responding.

    Check the accuracy and allow for PD clarification:

    Work hard to ensure that the PD you acquire is correct and full. When a customer requires that a mistake or absence in their private information be corrected, your organization must comply. It is recommended that you add an appropriate software form on your website where the person asking can describe the PD that needs to be corrected.

    Protect the Personal Information owned by your company:

    Take the appropriate actions to:

    • Safeguard the intellectual property (IP) that your business manages.
    • Protect information from unauthorized access, acquisition, use, or dissemination, as well as other related dangers. Intercepting or password-protecting any PD stored digitally that could cause damage if lost or damaged, frequently backing up details, implementing firewalls and virus-checking software on workers’ PCs, and so forth are examples of these actions.

    Get Rid of the personal information you no longer require:

    When you no more need the PD for commercial or legal purposes, dispose of it. Set a time restriction for various types of PD. Content must only be kept securely as it is needed for commercial or extraneous activities. Securely remove the PD by destroying the paper documentation or using specialist data-erasure technology. The PDPA does not specify a prolonged storage time for personal data, thus companies must adhere to any appropriate laws or industry-standard obligations.

    Control Network Operators Who Manage Private Information Carefully:

    You are still responsible for the safety of PD if you hire a service provider to handle it (for hosting, storage, or processing). As a result, when entering into a service agreement with a service provider, be sure that conditions are included that compel the provider to take reasonable steps to ensure PDPA compliance.

    Look into the National DNC registration:

    Businesses in Singapore are barred from delivering specific marketing messages to telephone services that have been enrolled with the DNC Registration, a database where people can opt-out of receiving unsolicited marketing texts and calls. If you want to send marketing materials to subscribers or users of Singapore phone numbers, check the DNC Registration first, unless the customer has provided his or her explicit approval to receive such messages.

    Share your data protection policies, procedures, and practices with others:

    Give your DPO’s business contact information so that clients can reach him or her with PDPA-related questions. Place information on your website about your data privacy policies, practices, and complaint process, and make it available to customers upon request. Ascertain that all staff are aware of and follow the procedures for protecting PD. Mention their responsibilities for protecting PD and ensuring that the company follows the PDPA.


    What is GDPR?

    The full form of GDPR is General Data Production Regulation.

    It is a regulatory structure that establishes instructions for the gathering and analysis of individual people’s details. The GDPR requires that tourists be provided with a set of data revelations. The webpage must also take steps to implement consumer interests, such as timely notification in the case of a breach of personal information.

    GDPR has a much broader scope and has extraterritorial ramifications. It includes companies that are not citizens of any EU country.

    How does GDPR affect Singapore registered companies?

    If the Singapore incorporated company collects and keeps personal information from clients, staff, or other EU citizens, one must abide by the GDPR guidelines.

    The EU data security regulation typically refers to:

    • A European Union-registered firm.
    • A corporation that is based in the EU gathers or uses personal data from EU citizens.
    • A company from outside the EU that collects or utilizes private information from Eu members.

    Types of PD should my company protect under the GDPR

    There are some similarities and distinctions between the GDPR and the PDPA. The GDPR requirement is often larger than the PDPA’s. The GDPR safeguards the essential kinds of personal data:

    • Information on a user’s work performance
    • Financial information
    • Individual interests and opinions
    • Identity, location, and Identification number are all examples of basic identifiable details.
    • Web documents include information such as position or mobility data, IP addresses, cookie analytics, and RFID tags.
    • Information on healthcare and genetics
    • Biometric information
    • Information on race or ethnicity
    • Political viewpoints
    • Gender or sexuality

    Data management principles to be followed to become GDPR compliant

    The GDPR rules are relatively the same as the Singapore PDPA security strategy, however, they are more thorough and complex in several areas. Ensure your firm follows the essential European data privacy laws to be GDPR compliant.

    • Precision: Any incorrect or absent papers must be corrected or removed as soon as feasible. People have the freedom to demand that you destroy or correct inaccurate information about them, and you must comply within 30 days.
    • Space restrictions: When your team no longer requires personal information, it must remove it. For most circumstances, the timeframe isn’t specified. It relies on your company’s conditions and why you’re collecting this information.
    • Limitation of Purpose: Personal information must only be collected for a clear, stated, and legit reason by the organization. You must explicitly state the goal of this data collection and only gather data for as long as it is required to fulfill that objective.
    • Minimization of information: You must verify that the PD you handle is sufficient, appropriate, and confined to what is essential for analytical purposes.
    • Clarity, lawfulness, and equality: In relation to an individual who is the object of the information, your organization must collect personal information legitimately, equitably, and transparently.
    • Privacy and Authenticity: Utilizing suitable technical and institutional methods, you must keep PD secure against unlawful processing and accidental, as well as major accidents, theft, or destruction.

    GDPR demands that the organization be able to show to regulators its compliance with the requirements, especially by demonstrating that the following measures are taken:

    Transaction Documentation:

    Companies with 250 or more workers must comply with this regulation. Such businesses must keep track of the information they process, including the reasons for the handling, the types of data they handle, who has exposure to it within their company, any intermediaries who have the knowledge, and what they’re doing to secure sensitive information, and when they plan to delete it.

    Organizations with less than 250 employees are required to record routine but not occasional PD, that is, activities are done infrequently and are unlikely to pose a harm to persons’ rights and liberties or contain special category information.

    A Data Protection Officer must be appointed:

    This stage is required for businesses whose principal activities involve huge PD tracking, sensitive information processing, or information involved in criminal records and violations. Other businesses are advised to hire a DPO. This person should be an information protection expert. Managing GDPR compliance, identifying data security risks, consulting on privacy impact evaluations, and collaborating with authorities are all part of his or her responsibilities.

    Safeguarding private information while collaborating with other companies: 

    Agreements for data security should be established with third-party controllers. This covers any third-party tools you use to manage personal information, such as software solutions, email providers, virtual servers, and so on. Most controllers have a standardized data handling contract that you can check on their sites. Only collaborate with third parties who can ensure GDPR-compliant security protocols. In other words, exporting data analysis to third parties will not allow you to avoid your GDPR duties.

    Implementation of Data Security Policy:

    The policy document is at the heart of a company’s GDPR corporate compliance. It must inform the employee of the GDPR’s rules and indicate the organization’s commitment to comply.

    Implementation of Security Protocols:

    All generated PD should be safeguarded using appropriate technical and organizational safeguards. Encryption is one example of a technical precaution, while organizational measures include items like restricting the quantity of personal information you acquire or removing files you no longer use.

    Pay careful attention to delicate PD handling. You must secure it, ensure that it does not appear in its raw form in the records, and prevent access to the backend. The following PDs are thought to be delicate:

    • PD based on ethnicity, political ideas, religious or philosophical convictions
    • Syndicalist participation
    • Biometric and genetic data handled exclusively to recognize a user
    • Information on healthcare
    • Information about a person’s personality or sexual relationship.

    Establish a privacy strategy to guarantee that all staff members are aware of data security issues. Mail security, credentials, two-factor verification, gadget protection, and VPNs should all be covered in the program.

    Legal Proof of Data Processing:

    If officials ask, your organization should be prepared to provide one of the six grounds for handling PD.

    • Permission: The individual who has provided explicit permission for his or her private information to be collected for a specific reason.
    • Agreement: The procedure is required to fulfill an agreement you have with the individual since he or she has requested that specified actions be taken prior to signing a contract in Singapore.
    • Legal requirement: Processing is required to abide by the law.
    • Crucial motives: The process is performed to safeguard an individual’s life.
    • Public task: Process is performed to carry out the job in the public interest that is legally based.
    • Qualified purposes: The handling is essential for the firm’s third party’s vital interests until there is a compelling basis to safeguard the PD, which takes precedence over legitimate rights.

    Approval to analyze PD is the most significant basis. Agreements with your customers, work contracts, and other negotiations should include a provision requiring approval to handle a user’s PD.



    The PDPA and GDPR are complex legislation aimed at safeguarding individuals’ basic rights concerning the acquisition, use, and sharing of their private information. It is critical to have a thorough grasp of the firm’s data protection laws under these standards to avoid breaches or exposures of the PD your company deals with, as well as the monetary penalties that can occur.


    Personal data is defined in the PDPA only in the context of economic interactions in which data subjects can be recognized. The GDPR’s classifications of personal data are not limited to business interactions.

    The GDPR is applicable beyond Europe. The GDPR’s entire function is to ensure the personal data of EU citizens and legal residents. As a result, the rule applies to all firms that manage such data, whether they are located in the EU or not.

    Section 24 of the PDPA states “Employers must safeguard employee personal information in their possession or under their control to avoid unlawful access, collection, use, disclosure, copying, modification, or disposal.”