Singapore data

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Visa: Consumers in Singapore prefer standardized personal data requests

In countries like Singapore, regulatory bodies ensure data produced in the country is well-secured and protected. Whenever a data breach or cyber incident occurs on the island nation, the regulatory bodies and security agencies ensure prompt action is taken and that the information is made public so that those affected can do the necessary to ensure they have not been compromised.

In fact, Singapore is known to have one of the strictest data privacy laws in the region. As such, compliance with its laws is essential for organizations that work mostly with data. This includes financial services, government agencies, and others.

With the laws of the land ensuring data is secured, more Singaporeans are living their lives online. Yet, despite the strict laws and regulations on data, the Consumer Data Confidence Research by Visa reports that almost eight out of 10 (77%) of Singaporean consumers want the option to control their data rather than leaving it up to the discretion of companies and government.

At the same time, the research also found that two in three Singapore consumers use shopping apps or websites, and financial services apps or websites weekly, exposing them to an increasing number of requests for their personal data. Sixty-five percent of consumers are required to provide personal data almost every time they use an online service.  However, close to three in four Singaporean consumers (74%) report that companies rarely educate them about data collection policies or data management options, and more than half (52%) believe data policies are written to protect companies’ legal interests rather than their own.

To meet consumer demands for customer-centric data permission models, Visa is collaborating with IMDA to explore the industry-led development of consent standards such as consent purpose and consent flow models to strengthen consumer understanding, control, and comfort with data sharing. Through the partnership, Visa and IMDA will also explore future collaboration opportunities with like-minded companies in Singapore to pilot consent solutions and/or tools.

Visa has released its Consent Management Specification — a set of technical guidelines on how global organizations can establish better processes and improve the user experience for collecting data usage permissions. These guidelines focus on creating consistent permission experiences for data-sharing requests, enabling consumers to decide what personal data they will share with companies online, and what it will be used for.

According to Adeline Kim, Visa’s Country Manager for Singapore & Brunei, data is a defining part of online experiences. Regardless if consumers are shopping online for groceries or completing mobile banking transactions, Kim states that improving the way businesses request for and manage consumer data is critical to providing consumers with frictionless online commerce and payment experiences.

“Visa is pleased to partner with Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) to improve data consent standards, placing control of personal data back into the hands of the consumer. This collaboration, along with efforts such as the Visa Consent Management Specification guidelines, will help businesses in Singapore establish standardized processes and encourage more consumers to participate in the data-sharing economy,” added Kim.

Yeong Zee Kin, Assistant Chief Executive (Data Innovation and Protection Group), Infocomm Media Development Authority of Singapore and Deputy Commissioner, of the Personal Data Protection Commission, commented, “Each day, we click through numerous online web forms, consenting to common requests, such as cookie collection and receiving marketing messages. But they all look and behave differently. Establishing standardized permission flows can engender consumer trust. We are heartened by Visa’s ambition to create a seamless and transparent end-to-end experience. We strongly encourage companies to adopt these consumer-centric consent models.”

Improving how businesses request data might increase consumer trust and make them more likely to grant permission to use their personal data. More than two in three Singapore consumers (67%) believe that all companies should be required to offer standardized requests for collecting personal data, while roughly three in five (64%) say they are more likely to grant permission to companies if standardized requests are offered.