WhatsApp messages included in SG’s upcoming Do-Not-Call registry

Marketing messages sent through popular mobile messaging clients such as WhatsApp will likely be included in Singapore’s upcoming Do-Not-Call registry, alongside messages sent via more conventional mediums.
 

Previously, the country’s Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts had proposed that the registry only cover SMSes, MMSes, faxes and phone calls.
 
The upcoming Do-Not-Call registry, scheduled to go ‘live’ as early as end next year, forms part of Singapore’s proposed consumer data protection laws.
 
The legislation is aimed at protecting consumer privacy in Singapore, where regulations regarding privacy only exist in the banking, telecommunications and health care sectors.
 
Companies will be unable to contact consumers who register their mobile phone numbers with the upcoming registry. The proposed legislation will apply to all companies, including those located overseas.
 
Certain exceptions to the rule include data used for police investigations and medical emergencies.
 
Companies will have 18 months to abide by the new ruling or face a maximum fine of S$1 million, should they be suspected of misconduct.