Data Protection Law in Singapore: Privacy and Sovereignty in an Interconnected World (Introduction)
Simon Chesterman (ed), Data Protection Law in Singapore: Privacy and Sovereignty in an Interconnected World (2nd edition; Singapore: Academy Publishing, 2018), 1-9
13 Pages Posted: 19 Jul 2018 Last revised: 26 Jul 2018
Date Written: July 25, 2018
The adoption of the Personal Data Protection Act transformed the legal regime for data protection in Singapore. This book explains the history and evolution of data protection in Singapore, highlights issues that are being worked out in practice, and derives lessons that Singapore can learn from other jurisdictions – and that other jurisdictions can learn from Singapore.
The introductory chapter outlines key themes. One is the tension between the globalised digital economy and efforts to regulate that economy through territorially-bounded states. A second is the increasing artificiality of premising legal treatment of personal data on quasi-contractual notions of consent.
Singapore offers a particularly interesting case study because it was a late-comer to personal data protection. It was not bound by laws that predated the ubiquity of the Internet; it drew on experience from across the globe. Yet the need to remain flexible is reflected in the use of the word “reasonable” some 47 times – evidence that the Personal Data Protection Act remains a work in progress.
Keywords: data protection, privacy, data privacy, globalization, Singapore, cyberlaw
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