OUT OF PRINT : Data Protection Law in Singapore – Privacy and Sovereignty in an Interconnected World (First Edition)



The adoption of the Personal Data Protection Act has transformed the legal regime for data protection in Singapore. This book explains the history and evolution of data protection in Singapore, highlights issues that will need to be worked out in practice as the new law is implemented and derives lessons that may be taken from other countries in the region and beyond. Bringing together leading scholars and practitioners in the field, the book will be of interest to the academic, legal and business communities. Key questions considered in the book include how to reconcile notions of privacy in an information age, and how national laws can regulate an increasingly interconnected world.


  • diverse perspectives on data protection
  • explores the complexity of issues surrounding personal data protection
  • highlights potential issues post-implementation of the new law
  • draws on lessons from the experience of other jurisdictions


Chapter 1 From Privacy to Data Protection
By Simon Chesterman

Chapter 2 The Online World and the Offline World
By Tan Cheng Han SC

Chapter 3 A Practitioner’s Perspective
By Bryan Tan

Chapter 4 Data Intermediaries and Data Breaches
By Daniel Seng

Chapter 5 Data Protection in the Employment Setting
By Hannah Lim Yee Fen

Chapter 6 The Do Not Call Registry
By Warren B Chik

Chapter 7 Malaysia’s Data Protection Law
By Abu Bakar Munir

Chapter 8 Comparisons with Other Asian Jurisdictions
By Graham Greenleaf

Appendix A Personal Data Protection Act 2012 (Act 26 of 2012)

Appendix B Second Reading Speech on the Personal Data Protection Bill 2012

Appendix C Closing Speech after the Second Reading of the Personal Data Protection Bill 2012


From the Foreword

“This book is timely as we prepare the legal fraternity, organisations and the general public for the newly established Personal Data Protection Act to come into effect in 2014. … I believe this book will stimulate healthy discussions and allow the community to gain a richer and deeper understanding of Singapore’s data protection regime.”

        — Associate Professor Dr Yaacob Ibrahim
              Minister for Communications and Information


Simon CHESTERMAN is Dean of the National University of Singapore Faculty of Law. He is also an editor of the Asian Journal of International Law and Secretary-General of the Asian Society of International Law. Educated in Melbourne, Beijing, Amsterdam and Oxford, Professor Chesterman’s teaching experience includes periods at the Universities of Melbourne, Oxford, Southampton, Columbia and Sciences Po. From 2006 to 2011, he was Global Professor and Director of the New York University School of Law Singapore Programme. He is the author or editor of 13 books, including One Nation Under Surveillance (Oxford University Press, 2011); Law and Practice of the United Nations (with Thomas M Franck and David M Malone) (Oxford University Press, 2008); You, the People (Oxford University Press, 2004); and Just War or Just Peace? (Oxford University Press, 2001). In 2013, he was appointed as a member of Singapore’s Data Protection Advisory Committee.


Warren B CHIK is an Associate Professor at the School of Law in Singapore Management University, where he teaches Information Technology and the Law and Entertainment Law. He writes and researches on subject matters related to this area of law including Internet intermediaries law, digital copyright law, the domain name regime as well as data privacy and protection law. Professor Chik graduated with a Bachelor of Laws from the National University of Singapore and with Master of Laws degrees from Tulane University and University College London.


Graham GREENLEAF is a Professor of Law & Information Systems at the University of New South Wales, where he has researched and taught since 1983. He specialises in the relationships between information technology and law. He has degrees in Arts and Law and is a Fellow of the Australian Computer Society. His current areas of research focus are Asian data protection and privacy laws, public rights in copyright and the globalisation of free Internet access to legal information. In 2010, he was made a member of the Order of Australia (AM) for his contributions to advancing free access to legal information, and to the protection of privacy. He received the 2007 Dieter Meurer Prize for Legal Informatics at the University of Saarbrucken. He is a co-founder and Co-Director of the Australasian Legal Information Institute since 1995.


Hannah LIM Yee Fen is an Associate Professor in Business Law at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. She holds degrees in Computer Science and in Law with Honours from the University of Sydney, Australia. She is an internationally recognised scholar in the areas of Internet & technology law, data protection law and intellectual property law. Her research has also been cited with approval by the judiciary, for example, by the High Court of Australia in Roadshow Films v iiNet [2012] HCA 16 where her scholarship was adopted and formed one of the key reasons for decision. She is the author of three scholarly books and has published more than 40 articles in international refereed journals and has delivered more than 70 conference papers, including at US law schools such as Stanford Law School. She recently won a competitive research grant from the EU Centre in Singapore for a project on data protection.


Abu Bakar MUNIR is an internationally renowned scholar, expert and consultant on information and communications technology law and data protection law. He has previously served as Dean of the Faculty of Law in the University of Malaya, Malaysia. Currently, he is a Professor of Law at the Faculty and an Associate Fellow at the University of Malaya Malaysian Centre of Regulatory Studies. Abu Bakar Munir is the author of several books: Privatization (Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka, 1992); Cyber Law: Policies and Challenges (Butterworths Asia, 1999); Privacy and Data Protection (Sweet & Maxwell Asia, 2002); Internet Banking: Law and Practice (LexisNexis, 2004); and Information and Communication Technology Law: State, Internet and Information (Sweet & Maxwell Asia, 2010). His most recent work, Personal Data Protection in Malaysia: Law and Practice (Sweet & Maxwell Asia, 2010), is a must-read book that provides a guidance to comply with Malaysia’s Personal Data Protection Act 2010. He is currently working on another book on data protection law in the Asia Pacific. He speaks extensively at workshops, seminars and conferences around the globe.


Daniel SENG is an Associate Professor at the National University of Singapore Faculty of Law. He was a member of several government committees responsible for various legislative reforms in the area of information technology law, including the Computer Misuse Act (Cap 50A), the Copyright Act (Cap 63), the Electronic Transactions Act (Cap 88), the Evidence Act (Cap 97) and the Layout-Designs of Integrated Circuits Act (Cap 159A). Professor Seng was appointed amicus curiae by the Court of Appeal in the case of Chwee Kin Keong v Pte Ltd [2005] 1 SLR(R) 502 – a landmark decision on the issue of unilateral mistake in the electronic contracting environment. He has written and presented numerous papers and studies on data protection, electronic banking, digital evidence, digital copyright and intermediary liability issues at various local, regional and international conferences and workshops, including workshops and conferences organised by the World Intellectual Property Organization (“WIPO”), the WIPO Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights and the World Bank. He is also a special consultant to WIPO on an ongoing international study of Internet intermediary liability. He is now working on his Doctor of Juridical Science thesis on online intermediary liability at Stanford Law School.


Bryan TAN is a partner at Pinsent Masons LLP. Qualified in both England and Wales and Singapore, he practises in such areas as finance, information technology, telecommunications, biotechnology and bioinformatics, Chinese intellectual property, entertainment law and corporate work. He advises corporates and institutions, as well as governments. He has given numerous talks in Singapore and abroad to research institutes, universities, governments and industry bodies and is a legal adviser to the ASEAN Single Window project. He is an author of Halsbury’s Laws of Singapore: E-Commerce vol 8(3) (LexisNexis, 2008) and Halsbury’s Laws of Malaysia: E-Commerce vol 31 (LexisNexis, 2006) and Halsbury’s Laws of Malaysia: E-Commerce vol 16(1) (LexisNexis, 2009 reissue). He also co-wrote the “Singapore” chapter of Electronic Evidence (LexisNexis, 2009) and the “Singapore” chapter of Handbook of Comparative Higher Education Law (Rowman & Littlefield Education, 2013). Mr Tan also has a regular column on ZDNet on legal tech issues.


TAN Cheng Han SC is a Professor of Law at the National University of Singapore Faculty of Law, where he served as Dean from 2001 to 2011. He has been a visiting professor at East China University of Political Science and Law, National Taiwan University and Peking University, and was a member of the International Advisory Committees of the National Chengchi University College of Law (2009) and the Australian National University College of Law (2011). His current appointments include being Chairman of the Media Literacy Council, Chairman of the Advisory Committee on Move-On and Filming Orders; Chairman of the Public Accountants Oversight Committee, Advisor to the Singapore Tae Kwon-do Federation, a Commissioner of the Competition Commission of Singapore, a member of the Governing Board of the International Association of Law Schools, a member of the Appeal Advisory Panel to the Minister for Finance, a member of the Singapore Sports Council and a member of the Military Court of Appeal. He is also a director of several listed companies.



Publication Type:


CS Redeemable:


Date of Publication:

Jan 2014

ISBN Code:








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