For example, encryption, password protection, 2-factor authentication (2FA), etc.
Provides reassurance to visitors who have shared their personal data with your website
With the high-profile cyberattack on SingHealth between June and July 2018 and the similar 2014 attack on SingPass where people’s personal data was stolen, visitors are getting more cautious about the risk of identity theft when they type their personal data into a website form.
While the high-profile cyberattacks are on high-profile companies, hundreds of cyberattacks against Singapore-hosted websites take place every year and they are predominantly targeted at the websites of small companies.
Protects your company against legal implications
If properly drafted and complied with, it may also help to protect you from regulatory action by bodies such as Singapore’s Personal Data Protection Commission that might be taken pursuant to any complaints from the public.
The most important of these factors is where the visitors to your website are likely to be located. This will determine under what country’s laws you owe privacy obligations to them.
If your website’s visitors are located in Singapore
If most of your visitors will be in Singapore, then the law governing their privacy is the Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA).
The PDPA requires that you obtain your visitors’ consent to collect whatever data you are collecting from them, for whatever purposes you need to use it.
If your website’s visitors are located within the European Union or European Economic Area
If some of your visitors are located within the European Union or the European Economic Area (even if your company is not located within either area), then the applicable law is the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
This law was introduced in May 2018 and grants European residents a wide range of privacy rights. For more information, see our guide on how Singapore companies can comply with the GDPR.
- The industry your company operates in;
- The purpose and content of your website;
- The kinds of personal data collected by your website;
- How you need to use, retain and share the data you collect in order to run your business; and
- The kinds of third-parties with whom you need to share the personal data collected and how they will use it.
- How this information is stored
- When this information may be shared with third-parties
- What purpose(s) such information may be shared with these third-parties for
- What happens to this information
- The steps you take to prevent this information from falling into the wrong hands
Because of the bespoke nature of privacy policies, it is advisable to engage a data protection lawyer to draft one for your website rather than trying to draft one yourself.
The pricing by law firms of this service is usually extremely competitive and affordable.
They will sit down with you to figure out how the factors above apply to your company, what your company’s data collection and retention needs actually are and come up with a policy that’s actually usable for your company.
- Where the company operates;
- Who the company’s visitors are; and
- What the company does.
Then, try to use their privacy policies to synthesise and adapt a policy that works for your company.
Again, this is highly inadvisable unless there is someone in your company with specialised expertise in this area.
Even then, ultimately diverting them from their work for a day may prove to be a false economy compared to the cost of engaging an experienced lawyer to do the same thing more quickly and effectively.
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