oBike has to expunge customer data unless there are legal, business reasons: Iswaran

SINGAPORE: Bike-sharing operator oBike is needed to expunge consumer information after the business is wound up if it has no legal or business function to retain it, Minister for Communications and Information S Iswaran stated on Tuesday (Jul 10).

In a written reply to a Parliamentary question from MP Cheng Li Hui, Mr Iswaran worried that oBike, like other business in Singapore, is required to abide by the data security commitments under the Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA), even though the company is undergoing liquidation.

“The PDPA continues to use to a company going through liquidation. Where a liquidator is appointed, the liquidator will also need to guarantee that the business going through liquidation continues to adhere to the PDPA,” stated Mr Iswaran.

“The individual information of consumers in Singapore can not be treated as properties and sold without their authorization,” he added.oBike selected US-headquartered company FTI seeking advice from as its provisional liquidator recently. Mr Iswaran even more explained that when a company undergoes liquidation, its liquidator may offer the entire or part of the business, its assets or businesses. If such a sale takes location, customer data that is directly pertinent to the deal may be moved to the acquirer.However, he stressed that under the PDPA, consumers need to be notified that their individual information has been transferred.”If clients do not want the acquiring business to utilize their personal information, they can approach the obtaining company to withdraw their approval, whereupon the acquiring company will then erase the personal information once there is no legal or service purpose to maintain it, “he added.oBike formerly stated it has about 1 million users in Singapore.According to Mr Iswaran, Singapore’s

privacy guard dog the Personal Data Defense Commission (PDPC)expects

oBike and its liquidators to continue adhering to the PDPA even as it prepares to exit the Singapore market.”PDPC has actually reminded oBike of its commitments under the PDPA, and is keeping an eye on the circumstance carefully

. PDPC will not be reluctant to take further action to protect consumers ‘interests if essential,”he said.