Reminder for Everyone: From 1 Sep 2019 Onwards, Companies Cannot Anyhowly Collect Your Full NRIC Details

Remember how bicycle shops would collect our identification cards when we rented bicycles?

Well, this is just one of the many reasons why the Personal Data Protection Commission (PDPC) has announced some changes to the NRIC advisory guidelines.

After all, we don’t want our NRIC details to get into the wrong hands.

Image: Giphy

Now before anything, what do you know about your NRIC? Do you know that when you’re 30 years old, you need to change to a new one? Here are ten facts about your NRIC you probably didn’t know of:

Okay, moving on.

Illegal For Companies To Physically Hold On To NRIC 

PDPC released a statement on 26 August 2019 to remind us again that from 1 September 2019, it will be illegal for organisations to physically hold on to your NRIC and collect its full number.

Yup, this means that bicycle shops can no longer collect your NRIC – or any other identifiers for that matter.

This includes birth certificate numbers, foreign identification numbers and work permit numbers as well.

Not even if they just want to buy 4D number with your NRIC number.

NRIC Collection Allowed In Certain Cases

Do note that NRIC numbers or of copies of the NRIC can still be collected and shared only if the law requires it. For instance, checking into a hotel or signing up for a new phone line.

It can also be collected if it’s necessary to verify an individual’s identity “to a high degree of fidelity,” such as when visiting a pre-school or for real estate matters.

Past Indiscriminate Collection Of NRIC Details

So why exactly did PDPC make this announcement?

Well, this is due to the indiscriminate collection of NRIC details for a multitude of reasons, such as filling out lucky draw coupons and membership applications, to retailers registering customers for parking redemptions or even booking a movie ticket.

Image: Giphy

The PDPC said in its statement that, “NRIC numbers can be used to retrieve data relating to individuals, there is a need to reduce indiscriminate or unjustified collection and negligent handling of NRIC numbers.”

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How About Companies That Already Have My NRIC Details?

You’ll be relieved to know that: Organisations that have collected NRIC numbers have been asked to check if they really do need these details.

If not, PDPC has asked them to dispose of it in accordance to the Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA).

Still need more assurance?

Organisations that continue to indiscriminately collect, use or disclose the NRIC would be going against the PDPA and can be fined up to $1million.

Ouch, that’s not worth it.

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