Oh, spammy spammers who call about great credit card deals and text about property opportunities. How we wish we can mark you as spam as easily as we can email.
Well, you may not be able to filter spammers to a folder, but at least you can now register with the Singapore government's Do Not Call (DNC) Registry. Registering your number online, via SMS or phone, registers your intent to opt out of voice calls, text messages and fax from telemarketers.
The DNC Registry even includes messages from overseas, if it's a Singapore organization which outsources the telemarketing overseas, and it covers you if you're present in Singapore when the message is accessed. It also covers chat apps like WhatsApp, as long as it uses your telephone number as an identifier.
The DNC Registry is set up to protect personal data under the Personal Data Protection Act 2012, which gives you more control over how your personal data is being collected, used and disclosed.
However, even though you can register starting today, the provisions only come into effect on 2nd January 2014. And because organizations are required to check the DNC Registry within certain time periods before sending any messages (60 days for the first six months of the DNC Registry's operations, and 30 days thereafter), registered numbers might still receive marketing messages within the next 60 days.
Also, you may continue receiving marketing messages if you've given an organization consent to do so, for service calls and reminders, for business-to-business telemarketing messages or for overseas calls.
It's unclear what teeth the DNC Registry has to enforce itself if organizations continue to spam registered users. In the FAQ, the registry says that users can contact the PDPC (Personal Data Protection Commission) to contact the organization on their behalf. The PDPC won't be able to undertake any action until the provisions come into effect on 2nd January 2014, so it looks like we'll have to wait until next year to see how much the DNC Registry will be respected. Fingers crossed on this one.
Head over to the PDPC's Do Not Call Registry to register your number today.