Check the Do Not Call Registry before sending marketing messages


Dec 2020 - 3 min read 

As advertising platforms evolve and proliferate, there are more ways for salespersons to reach consumers and tailor advertisements according to their demographics, lifestyles, and preferences.

Whichever advertising or marketing platforms salespersons use, it is important for salespersons to conduct themselves professionally and abide by the Do Not Call (DNC) provisions under the Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA).

Things to note before sending marketing messages to Singapore telephone numbers

1. What the DNC Registry is

The DNC provisions under the PDPA generally prohibits organisations and data intermediaries from sending certain marketing messages (in the form of voice calls, text or fax messages) to Singapore telephone numbers registered with the DNC Registry. This includes mobile, fixed-line, residential and business numbers.

Estate agents and salespersons thus have to ensure that such messages are not sent to Singapore telephone numbers registered with the DNC Registry.

The DNC Registry contains three separate Registers of Singapore telephone numbers for voice calls, text messages (SMS/MMS/text), and faxes for organisations or individuals to check against.

2. When to check against the DNC Registry

Before you send any marketing messages to a Singapore telephone number, you should check that:

  • the telephone number is not registered with the DNC Registry;
  • the message contains clear and accurate information identifying you, as well as your contact details; and
  • your telephone number is not concealed if you are making a call.

Telemarketing messages sent through smartphone applications (such as WhatsApp) or other technologies that use a telephone number as an identifier are covered by the DNC provisions as long as the messages are addressed to a Singapore telephone number.

However, you can continue to send marketing messages regardless of whether the consumer has registered with the DNC Registry under the following circumstances:

  • You or your estate agent have obtained clear and unambiguous consent in writing or other accessible format from the user/subscriber to the sending of the telemarketing message, or
  • You or your estate agent are relying on the Personal Data Protection (Exemption from Section 43) Order 2013 and fulfil the conditions under this exemption.

3. How to check against the DNC Registry

To use the services on the DNC Registry, organisations or individuals will need to apply for an account on the DNC Registry website. For organisations, one or more sub-accounts can be created under a main account to allow more than one user in the organisation to perform telephone number checks against the DNC Registry.

Check with your KEO or estate agent for more information on your organisation’s DNC Registry account.

To check against the DNC Registry, submit a list of telephone numbers you are planning to send marketing messages to. The DNC Registry will then indicate numbers that are in any of the Registers.

You may then send marketing messages to the numbers that are not in the Registers. You may rely on the DNC Registry results for up to 30 days. If you intend to send the marketing messages after 30 days has lapsed, you must submit your list of numbers to the DNC Registry again.

In addition to the DNC Registry provisions, organisations carrying out telemarketing activities should also comply with the data protection provisions of the PDPA, which include seeking consent and informing individuals of the purposes for the collection, use and disclosure of personal data unless an exception applies.

For more information, refer to CEA’s webpage on personal data protection as well as PG 02-11: Practice Guidelines on Ethical Advertising.

Information accurate as at 28 December 2020

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