Tuition agency first firm here to be charged for flouting personal data protection rules

Submitted by admin on Mon, 04/27/2015 - 09:27 Published on May 23, 2014
By Irene Tham
 
A tuition agency has become the first company here to be charged for violating the "Do
Not Call" rules. The Personal Data Protection Commission (PDPC) is charging Star Zest Home Tuition for sending
messages to numbers on the Do Not Call (DNC) registry despite being told to stop.
 
Both the tuition agency and its director will be charged in the courts on June 4 for contravening the DNC rules in the
Personal Data Protection Act. This prohibits companies from marketing to any number listed on the
registry without first getting consent. The firm was marketing the teaching services of its tutors.
PDPC chairman Leong Keng Thai said: "The Commission is serious about compliance with the DNC
requirements in the Personal Data Protection Act. We thank the members of public who have
cooperated with us in our investigations and are encouraged by individuals who have stepped forward
to do so."
 
Two other unnamed companies were also fined between $500 and $1,000. The Commission has also
warned 380 other firms for flouting the DNC rules, effective since Jan 2 this year.
The registry was set up to let consumers block unsolicited marketing calls, SMS messages or faxes by
listing their numbers. In most cases, companies are now not allowed to market to any registered
number without getting consent. More than 600,000 phone numbers are listed on the Registry.
But even after the registry's launch on Jan 2 this year, around 630 organisations were still texting and
calling numbers listed on it without getting permission. This led to at least 3,700 complaints from the
public.
 
The complaints were made mainly against private education and property companies, some were also
against those in banking and finance, retail, insurance as well as telecommunications.