Five Facts To Be Aware Of When You Provide Personal Data

Tuesday, May 22 2018 08:00 PM

Sharing our personal data, with some company or other, is almost inevitable these days. Ever wondered just how your data is kept, used, and disclosed by the company? How well protected are you? Remember that Singapore’s Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA) was introduced only in 2013.

Let’s view the example of taking up luxury home insurance, a subject of particular interest to us as our clients sometimes purchase a rider for content placed in our private vault.

Firstly, a policy holder’s personal data is widely accessible by an organisation’s employees, its direct reinsurers, third-party reinsurers, holding companies, business partners, third-party service providers, and government agencies, as required by Automatic Exchange of Information (AEOI), the new global standard meant to reduce the possibility of tax evasion.

Secondly, although as a policy holder you may opt out — by writing in to withdraw consent — of furnishing your personal data, this is not a wise choice: insurance companies (ICs) and their reinsurers cannot respond to or handle any claims made under your policy.

Thirdly, if you withdraw consent for the collection, use or disclosure of personal data, the IC is required to retain existing data in accordance with their Records and Retention Policy. Also, the authorities require, on demand, full transparency of all ICs.

Fourthly, wish to check how the IC has accessed and used your personal data? Yes, you can make a request, but note that ICs are required to furnish this data only up to a maximum of 365 days before the request.

Finally, regarding your personal data, ICs have:

An ‘accuracy obligation’ — they must make reasonable efforts to ensure your data is accurate and complete, eg during disclosure to another party, and occasionally require you to update your information; and

A ‘retention limit obligation’ — they must cease to retain documents containing personal data, or ensure the data can no longer be associated with you, once retention is no longer necessary for legal or business purposes. Note, though, that accounting records and supporting documents must be retained for seven years in Singapore.

Given the circumstances, you should think twice about entering that next lucky draw for the beautiful Ferrari at Dubai airport.


Facts were true at the time of reporting. Information presented is taken from the luxury-home-insurance policy wordings of reputable insurers in Singapore.

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Copyright © Vault@268 Pte Ltd   Author: Vinay Kumar Rai