Discussion paper on Data Portability

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Data portability enables individuals to request for a copy of their data held by an organisation in a structured, commonly used, and machine-readable format, and for the organisation to transmit the data to another organisation. In line with a wider movement globally to implement or consider introducing a data portability requirement, Singapore is studying the introduction of a data portability requirement. A joint initiative between the PDPC and the CCCS was thus launched to look into consumer protection, competition and personal data protection issues which could arise if a data portability requirement is introduced in this country. This requirement could empower individuals with control over their data, reducing switching costs for consumers while enabling greater innovation by businesses. As data portability primarily involves an overlap between competition law and data protection law, both perspectives must be considered when determining the appropriate data portability requirement in Singapore, to reap the maximum benefits while keeping costs to organisations manageable. The initiative culminated with the publication of a discussion paper explaining the concept and implementation of data portability, and the benefits and issues that may arise under competition and data protection laws. Following the publication of the discussion paper, PDPC introduced proposed data portability provisions for public consultation. The public consultation elicited numerous responses from individuals as well as organisations, and these responses are presently being considered before any final determination about whether the data portability requirement should be introduced in Singapore.