Singapore: Identity card number collection and copying to be illegal from Sept 2019
Source: Asia Insurance Review | Oct 2018
Singapore’s data protection watchdog has issued updated guidelines to enhance consumer protection against the indiscriminate collection, use and disclosure of individuals’ National Registration Identity Card (NRIC) numbers and retention of physical NRICs.
From 1 September 2019, organisations in Singapore will not be allowed to collect, use or disclose NRIC numbers or copies of the NRIC except under certain specific circumstances. These are: If the collection, use or disclosure is required by the law; or it is necessary to accurately establish or verify an individual’s identity to a high degree of fidelity, said the Person Personal Data Protection Commission (PDPC).
As a NRIC number is a permanent and irreplaceable identifier which can be used to unlock large amounts of information relating to an individual, “indiscriminate collection or negligent handling of NRIC numbers can increase the risk of unintended disclosure and may result in NRIC numbers being used for illegal activities such as identity theft or fraud,” noted the PDPC.
The new rules for the NRIC also extends to birth certificate numbers, foreign identification numbers and work permit numbers. Although Singapore passport numbers are periodically replaced, the PDPC said that organisations should also avoid collecting full passport numbers of individuals unless justified. A