The DNC Singapore: Looking At 2 Sides Better
Receiving telemarketing calls from organisations you didn’t subscribe to, for products or services you have no intention of purchasing, can be downright annoying. However, as many of us are also on the side of these business entities from the vantage point of personnel or even an owner, we understand the necessity of telemarketing in business progress and continuity.
Striking that sweet spot between protecting the rights of individuals against unwanted telemarketing practices and encouraging business continuity through retention of customer interest can be tough. However, through the introduction of the Do Not Call Registry (DNC Singapore) in 2014, a reasonable balance seems to have been reached.
Simply put, the DNC Singapore lays out the groundwork to protect individuals from unwanted telemarketing calls. On the other hand, it also provides guidelines for organisations to adhere to, so they can still carry out their legitimate telemarketing practices but within the bounds of specific regulations.
Apart from provisions in the Do Not Call Registry, there are other regulations that organisations must adhere to in order to achieve full PDPA compliance. Getting all of them right can be tedious. The first step to achieving this is to get all personnel on the same page and cultivate a culture of compliance.
See how Privacy Ninja’s PDPA Obligations for Organizational Compliance can give you and your staff an overview and understanding of the 9 core PDPA obligations and more. At the end of this SkillsFuture Credit-eligible course, your team can also develop its own roadmap to achieving full PDPA compliance within the organisation. Get started today.
The DNC Singapore and you
The Do Not Call Registry allows individuals to opt out of telemarketing messages intended for their Singapore telephone number. Examples of these are promotions or advertisements of goods or services. Opting out gives individuals more control over the type of messages they get on their telephone, mobile phone or fax machine.
For individuals, there are three DNC Registers they can enroll their numbers in (which they can do in this website), depending on the platform they would like to be included:
- No voice call register – for blocking unwanted telemarketing calls
- No text message register – for blocking texts which include Short Messaging Service (SMS) and Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS)
- No fax message register – for blocking unwanted fax messages
It should be noted that the DNC Registry does not cover the following:
- Marketing messages or calls from businesses with whom you have a current relationship; that is, if the messages pertain to products or services that are relevant to you. Nonetheless, you may still opt out from getting such telemarketing messages and once you do, organisations must stop sending such messages to your Singapore telephone number after 21 calendar days;
- Messages that are included in a market survey or research;
- Messages pertaining to charitable or religious purposes;
- Personal messages sent by other individuals;
- Public messages deployed by government agencies;
- Political messages; or
- Telemarketing calls or messages sent to a business (that is, B2B).
Did you know? Under the PDPA, it is mandatory to appoint a Data Protection Officer (DPO) to oversee and manage your organisation’s full PDPA compliance. This includes compliance with DNC Singapore. At Privacy Ninja, we understand how taxing it is for some businesses to hire a full-time DPO. As us about our DPO-As-A-Service, where we take on your organisation’s DPO operational obligations while you focus on what you do best, to grow the business. Talk to us today.
The DNC Singapore and your business
Under the PDPA, the DNC provisions generally forbids organisations from sending marketing messages to Singapore telephone numbers that are listed in the DNC Registry. This covers mobile, fixed-line, residential and business numbers.
The marketing messages included under DNC provisions cover voice calls, text or fax messages, for the purposes of:
- Offering to provide, push, or advertise goods or services;
- Pushing or advertising suppliers or potential suppliers of goods or services; or
- Providing, advertising, or pushing land, services in land or business or investment opportunities.
Regardless of the method of sending marketing messages – whether your business is directly sending them, allowing the message to be deployed or authorising another company to do so, it is your responsibility to make sure that such messages are not deployed to Singapore telephone numbers registered with the DNC Singapore Registry.
When sending marketing messages to Singapore telephone numbers, your company must:
- Furnish information on how individuals can opt out of such messages using the same platform by which the message is sent. Once you have received an opt-out request, you have 21 calendar days to see to it that marketing messages are no longer deployed to the individual’s telephone number.
- Clearly identify your company and furnish contact details if you are sending a text or fax message. This lets the recipient reach out to you for enquiries or clarifications, if needed.
- See to it that the caller’s identity is not hidden if you are making a voice call.
The good news is, there are certain exceptions to the DNC Singapore provisions. For one, you do not need to check the DNC Singapore Registry if your business has the recipient’s clear and unambiguous permission to send marketing messages to the Singapore telephone number.
Furthermore, you may send:
- Text or fax messages (except voice calls) about products, services, and memberships that are necessary to individuals with whom your business has an ongoing relationship (take note that a series of one-off transactions does not equate to an ongoing relationship);
- Services calls or reminder messages pertaining to services bought by the individual;
- Messages as part of your market survey or research;
- Messages pertaining to charitable or religious causes; or
- Messages intending to reach other businesses (B2B) and not individuals.
Whether you are a consumer or an organisation, you stand to benefit from understanding the clauses of the DNC Singapore. Protection against unwanted telemarketing calls and responsible deployment of telemarketing messages are two sides that must be carefully considered by all parties in Singapore.