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Blockchain, Data Privacy, Featured, News

Singapore issues Data Protection Guidelines for Blockchain Networks

Singapore has always been a frontrunner in embracing technological changes and building viable solutions. The country was among the earliest to build a regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies. Aiming to address data privacy concerns, the Asian nation has brought forward guidelines to consider while designing blockchain solutions. The move intends to assist solution providers in developing blockchain products prioritizing responsible consumer data management. 

Singapore Blockchain Design Guidelines

The Personal Data Protection Commission(PDPC) agency in Singapore, has prepared the guidelines in compliance with the Personal Data Protection Act 2012(No. 26 of 2012). The government aims to provide blockchain development companies with an outline to adhere to. 

The rulebook contains multiple blockchain-associated issues for both permissioned and non-permissioned blockchain networks. It also features the risks and considerations one should keep in mind to protect data and includes advice in setting up a management program for data protection. 

Also Read: Blockchain Technology to Accelerate Digital Transformation in Vietnam

Features of the PDPC Guidelines

Based on the PDPA, the PDPC guidelines feature several takeaways, including:

  1. Anticipation of possible issues regarding the compliance of personal data storage in blockchains. 
  2. Non-storage of private data on permissionless blockchains even with encryption, anonymity guarantee, or using an in-clear storage format. 
  3. Ensuring the encryption and anonymity of each and every on-chain personal data across permissioned blockchains. 
  4. Utilizing off-chain methods to further reduce risks of personal data protection failure across blockchains- both permissioned and permissionless. 

The government-prescribed guidelines offer a context for adhering to the PDPA rules while deploying blockchain solutions that make use of personal data. It is necessary to reiterate that the guide is meant to promote blockchain implementation and not subdue progress. It also offers valuable suggestions for the administration and ethical management of private consumer information through DPbD(Data Protection by Design). 

Also Read: Crypto Winter is Here! How Long Will It Last?

Additional Guideline Contents

In addition to risks, the guidelines also shed light on the policy framework issues associated with recording confidential data across any blockchain. The guideline also addresses DPbD merits and demerits for blockchain data storage. 

While it is not an all-in-one reference for blockchain adoption. The technology has vast scopes of usage and features separate types and methodologies. The recommendations, being general in nature, are also applicable throughout multiple Distributed Ledger Technologies(DLT) mechanisms. 

Who are the Guidelines For?

The manual guidelines are recommended for organizations actively involved in the following:

  1. Governance, configuration, and operation of blockchain operators in consortia or networks.
  2. Designing, Deployment, and Maintenance of applications across blockchain networks(app service providers).
  3. Participants incorporating blockchain applications. 

Singapore-Hong Kong Blockchain Data Privacy MoU

Singapore’s PDPC has renewed its MoU with Hong Kong’s PCPD to reinforce the current existing ties and encourage better collaboration while optimizing cooperation in personal data protection. The Memorandum further outlines their collaboration scope, comprising mutual assistance and partnerships in bipartite blockchain investigation and data exchange. The recently drafted framework acts as a foundation in both education and driving the data protection laws not only across blockchain but also across emerging technologies like AI and international data flows. 

Wrapping Up

The newly-issued Singapore blockchain guidelines are designed to optimize operations using the said technology while enabling the protection of confidential personal information across the network.

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