November 21, 2019
Come September 1, organisations can no longer physically hold on to an individual’s NRIC and collect its full number. This doesn’t just apply to pink cards -it is also illegal to collect full birth certificate numbers, foreign identification numbers and work permit numbers as well.
The Personal Data Protection Commission (PDPC) has decided to update the NRIC advisory guidelines due to instances where these sensitive details were being used unnecessarily for things like parking redemptions and lucky draws. With an NRIC number, plenty of important personal data can be retrieved. To reduce the risk of such information being misused, they have decided to impose hefty fines on companies which do not comply to the new PDPA rules. These penalties can go up to $1 million - quite a huge sum to pay for collecting details you didn’t require in the first place!
There are a few exceptions to the rule, of course - there are certain situations where verification via NRIC is necessary, such as new phone subscriptions, doctor’s appointments and hotel check-ins.
If you’re still unsure about what all these changes might entail, you might want to familiarise yourself with the main advisory guidelines here: https://www.pdpc.gov.sg/Legislation-and-Guidelines/Guidelines/Main-Advisory-Guidelines . It is always best to err on the side of caution.
At Butleric, we take data protection very seriously. As most of our merchants are F&B SMEs who process hundreds of transactions daily, we have a lot of sensitive customer data on hand. We understand how important it is to ensure that customers’ details remain safe. You can always speak to our Data Protection Officer if you have any concerns about data collection and protection.