How to Navigate PDPA Singapore Guidelines in Fleet Management

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Have you ever wondered what happens to your data after you click "Agree" online?

Think about it. Every website, app, and service you use collects a piece of you—your name, address, and even your age. It's a treasure trove of personal data, but the question is: who gets to hold the keys?

Here in Singapore, the Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA) was created to govern how companies and organisations handle your information.Let’s see how they set the rules and why you can trust Cartrack to keep your information secure.

In this article, you will:

  • Discover the ins and outs of the PDPA Act in Singapore
  • Understand the importance of PDPA compliance for fleet businesses
  • Uncover the key differences between the Singapore PDPA and the EU-GDPR.
  • Access a comprehensive PDPA compliance checklist for your fleet business
  • Learn how Cartrack solutions can help you achieve and maintain PDPA compliance

What is the Data Privacy Act in Singapore?

Personal Data Protection Act 2012 (PDPA) is the main data protection legislation in Singapore. 

It oversees data handling, like the collection, use, and disclosure of all electronic and non-electronic personal data, regardless of whether the personal data is true or false.It’s simply a set of rules that companies and organisations in Singapore must follow to ensure they handle clients' personal information responsibly and keep it safe.

This includes personal information such as:

  • Full names
  • NRIC or passport numbers
  • Individuals’ photographs or video images
  • Mobile telephone numbers
  • Personal email addresses
  • Residential addresses

There’s a lot of different data that can be used to identify you, but you can rest assured knowing the PDPA protects these data types and more.

If you've ever given your details to a company for a service or signed up for a newsletter online, the PDPA ensures proper information handling, meaning it’s not shared without your permission.

Basically, the PDPA ensures that organisations must:

  1. Get consent from the user before collecting their personal data

    Companies can't just grab your information whenever they want. The PDPA ensures they get your consent before collecting and using your data. This means that a company has an obligation to inform you about what information is being collected, why it’s needed, and who it might be shared with.
  2. Use the data only for the purposes it was collected for

    The PDPA prevents organisations from using your information for purposes beyond what you agreed to. Companies or services can only use it for the specific reasons they explained when they collected it.

    In other words, they can't take your data and use it for something completely different without your permission. However, it’s also important to note that you must be aware of what you agree to when sharing your information.
  3. Protect the data from unauthorised access, or misuse

    You have the right to know what information an organisation holds about you. The PDPA gives you the power to request access to this information and even ask for corrections if something is inaccurate.
  4. Allow an individual to access and correct their own data

    The PDPA doesn't just give you the right to see your information, it also allows you to ask for it to be corrected or even deleted in certain situations.
  5. Dispose of personal data properly when it's no longer needed

    The PDPA also ensures organisations don't hold onto your individual information forever. Once they no longer need it for the reason it was collected, they have to dispose of it properly. This means securely deleting it or destroying it in a way that makes it unrecoverable.

The PDPA might sound like a complex law, but at its heart, it's about protecting your privacy. It ensures that you have control over your individual information and that it's treated with respect.

How does the Singapore Personal Data Protection Act influence fleet management?

The Singapore Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA) helps keep citizens' personal information safe. For fleet management, this means that the act protects drivers' information and empowers companies to be careful with the data they collect.

Here are five things fleet managers should remember when it comes to the PDP Act:

  1. Data protection: Fleet managers need to make sure that any type of personal information they collect from drivers, like names or contact details, is kept safe and used properly according to the PDPA. They should have measures in place to stop anyone from accessing or misusing this information.
  2. Consent: Before gathering any personal data from drivers, fleet managers have to get their agreement and tell them why they need the information. This ensures that drivers are kept informed about the handling of their details.
  3. Purpose limitation: Fleet managers should only collect and use personal data for things directly related to running the fleet. If they want to use the data for anything else, they might need extra permission from the drivers or have to follow special rules under the PDPA.
  4. Data security: Fleet managers are responsible for keeping personal data secure. This means using strong passwords or fleet management software like Cartrack to keep information safe and ensure only authorised personnel have access to see or update information.
  5. Data retention: Fleet managers should only keep personal data for as long as they need it. Once it's no longer necessary, they should get rid of it safely to stop anyone from using it without permission.

All these give drivers peace of mind knowing their personal information is protected and that they have a say in how it's handled.


Why do fleets follow PDPA rules?

Fleets gather information about their drivers just like any other company, but if information gets leaked, it could, like any other company, not only compromise their drivers’ safety but might also impact the fleet company’s data security. 

Through bribes or phishing, criminals could use the driver's information to gain entry into the business and access sensitive information or steal property.

With this, businesses following PDPA rules would not only protect clients' sensitive information but also their own.

Here are other reasons to follow the rules set by the act.

  • Compliance & avoiding penalties:

    PDPA is a legal requirement. Failure to comply can result in significant fines and reputational damage to the business. Using a fleet management platform like Cartrack, you can have all your fines, permits and any compliance documentation on one platform for easy access, plus automated reminders to keep up with fines.
  • Protecting driver privacy:

    Fleet management data can be very personal, including driver location, driving behaviour, and potentially even health information from telematics systems. PDPA ensures responsible collection, use, and storage of this data, respecting driver privacy rights.
  • Building trust:

    Demonstrating strong data privacy practices builds trust with drivers, fosters a positive work environment, and potentially reduces employee turnover.
  • Mitigating security risks:

    Robust data security measures required by PDPA protect sensitive fleet data from breaches and cyberattacks, safeguarding the company from financial losses and reputational damage.

    If you're using Cartrack fleet management, they won’t only uphold your business to safety measures stated in the PDPA but also follow their own Cartrack data protection policy.
  • Competitive advantage:

    Strong data privacy practices can be a competitive advantage in today's data-driven world. Clients and partners may be more likely to choose a fleet management company with a proven track record of PDPA compliance. This increases their confidence in the company’s ability to keep their information safe.

What are PDPA guidelines?

This section is all about YOU—the client or everyday consumer and taking control of what's yours. 

The PDPA gives power over personal data to the owner of that data. These sets of consent rules are meant to empower you to understand exactly what you're agreeing to when giving your information and how you can stop providing data and hit the brakes whenever you want.

Here are three ways the PDPA gives you control over your information:

  1. Consent requirements:

    Freely given: Your agreement must be given freely, without anyone forcing you or using overly technical language. Companies can't demand your data unless it's directly needed, like needing your address for delivery.

    Unambiguous: Requests for agreement should be simple and easy to understand by citizens, written in plain language, and separate from other rules.

    Specific: You have the right to know what data is being collected, why, and who might use it. These provided details can help you make informed decisions on whether you want to agree or not.

    Say ‘yes’ clearly: Just using a service or staying quiet doesn't mean you agree. You must clearly say yes, by ticking a box, signing or clicking a button.

    You can say ‘no’ and withdraw consent: You can change your mind and say no later. Companies must make it easy and tell you if there are any problems if you do.
  2. Withdrawal of consent:

    Saying no shouldn't come with penalties or restrictions or stop you from using other services unless it's related to the data you said no to.

    As mentioned above, you have the right to revoke the consent previously given. Companies must make it simple and accessible for you to change your mind, like filling out a form online or emailing.

    Once you say no, companies must stop using your data immediately for that reason and tell you when it's done.
  3. Exemptions from consent:

    There are limited situations where consent might not be required under the PDPA. These exemptions are in place for specific purposes deemed legitimate by the law.

    Legal compliance: In certain situations, companies might not need your agreement under the law.

    Legal obligations: There are situations where companies might have to use your data to follow the law, like reporting something suspicious to the police.

    Public interest: Sometimes, using your data might be for a good reason for everyone, like during a health crisis.

    Business transactions: Companies might not always need your agreement if it's for something you asked them to do, like buying something online and they already have your information filled in the required columns. But they still have to be clear about what they're doing with your data.

What are the fines and penalties under the PDPA Act?

Yes, the PDPA empowers you, the everyday individual, to safeguard your information, but how does it hold organisations accountable for following these rules? 

Well, the PDPA doesn't just bark—it has some bite too, in the form of strict penalties and hefty fines for non-compliance.

Fines: Companies in Singapore, making over SGD 10 million a year, could find themselves facing hefty fines if they break the data protection rules. They might have to pay up to SGD 1 million, or 10% of their yearly turnover in Singapore. This alone is a serious financial incentive to take data protection seriously.

Direction of orders: The PDPC can issue directives or commands to individuals or organisations, instructing them to adhere to data protection requirements or halt any activities that violate the PDPA. These directives from the PDPC might involve ordering an organisation to cease gathering, using, or revealing personal data in violation of the PDPA, or to dispose of personal data acquired unlawfully under the legislation.

Criminal liability: Non-compliance with the PDPA may lead to criminal liability in certain circumstances. Offences such as the unauthorised disclosure of personal data due to negligence or the alteration of personal data can result in fines ordered by the PDPC and imprisonment.

Private right of action: Individuals who are harmed due to an organisation's violation of the PDPA can take legal action against the organisation.

How is the Singapore PDPA different from the EU GDPR?

Governments around the world have recognised the importance of protecting their data. Other than the Singapore PDPA legislation, another prominent example of this movement is the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

PDPA Singapore’s definition is similar to GDPR personal data in many ways. Let me explain:


  • PDPA: It applies to organisations operating within Singapore, from local companies to the websites you use. So, Singaporean online stores also need to follow the PDPA when collecting your purchase information. However, public agencies (like government departments) generally aren't covered by the PDPA.
  • GDPR: The GDPR has a broader reach, acting like an international security guard. It applies to organisations offering goods or services to individuals in the EU, regardless of the organisation's location. So, even if a company is based outside the EU but sells products to people in the EU, they'd need to comply with the GDPR.


  • PDPA: Both PDPA and GDPR require your consent to collect and use your data. However, if purchasing on a website, your consent to use your payment information for that transaction might be implied and added to the PDPA.
  • GDPR: The GDPR takes a stricter approach; it requires your consent to be freely given, specific, informed, and unambiguous. This means organisations typically need you to take a clear action, like checking a box or clicking a button, that explicitly states your consent.

    For example, when signing up for a social media platform, under GDPR, you'd likely see a clear option to agree to their data practices (Ts&Cs) before continuing.

Your rights:

  • PDPA: The PDPA grants you rights to access and correct your data, withdraw consent, and request deletion under certain circumstances. You can see what's in there, fix any mistakes, and even ask for things to be removed if they're no longer needed.
  • GDPR: In addition to the rights under PDPA, you also have the right to receive your data and easily transfer it to another service, and the right to object to automated decision-making (like algorithms making choices for you).

Fines and penalties:

  • PDPA: As seen above, rather than the SGD 1 million fine, the PDPA imposes lower penalties for non-compliance. Think of it as a gentle tap on the wrist for organisations that break the rules.
  • GDPR: The GDPR has the potential for much steeper fines for violations, reaching up to €20 million or 4% of a company's global annual turnover (whichever is higher). This can be a significant financial blow for companies that don't take data protection seriously.


How do fleet businesses ensure compliance with PDPA?

Here's how fleet businesses in Singapore can make sure they follow the PDPA rules:

  1. Keep data limited and purposeful:

    Only collect personal data that is necessary for your operations, like driver information, customer details for deliveries, and possibly passenger data if you transport people. Clearly explain why you need this data to everyone involved.

    For this, Cartrack can integrate with third-party consent management platforms to allow businesses to seamlessly collect and record driver and customer consent electronically within the Cartrack workflow.
  2. Keep data safe and controlled:

    Use strong security measures to protect personal data from being seen or changed by people who shouldn't have access. Only let employees see the data they need for jobs.
  3. Get clear consent:

    Make sure drivers and customers understand and agree to give you their data. Tell them how you'll use it and who else might see it. Make it easy for them to change their minds later if they want to.
  4. Only keep data as long as needed:

    Decide how long you need to keep personal data and stick to it. When you don't need it anymore, safely get rid of it.
  5. Act fast if there's a data breach:

    Have a plan ready for what to do if personal data gets leaked or stolen. Tell the authorities and the people affected as soon as possible.

Other Tips:

Train your staff: Make sure everyone in your company knows about the PDPA and how important it is to keep personal data safe.

Consider appointing a data protection officer (DPO): Think about having someone in charge of making sure your company follows the PDPA properly. They can set up rules, deal with any problems, and help everyone understand what they need to do.

Key takeaways: The full PDPA compliance checklist

Feeling overwhelmed by the PDPA? Don't worry, we've created a handy checklist to simplify things. This checklist contains everything you need to know about Singapore's Personal Data Protection Act.

Get the key points you need to remember to stay on top of your PDPA compliance.

☑ Are we collecting only the necessary personal data for our fleet operations?

☑ Have we obtained clear and informed consent from drivers and customers before collecting their data?

☑ Have we implemented security measures to protect personal data from unauthorised access?

☑ Have we restricted access to personal data to authorised personnel only?

☑ Do we have policies in place for retaining personal data and securely disposing of it when it is no longer needed?

☑ Have we developed procedures for identifying, containing, and reporting data breaches?

☑ Have we provided training to employees on their data protection responsibilities?

☑ Have we considered a Data Protection Officer to oversee compliance efforts?

☑ Do we regularly review and update our data protection policies and procedures?

☑ Are we maintaining clear records of consent obtained and actions taken to ensure compliance?

☑ Are we using Cartrack's fleet management solutions to enhance data security and ensure compliance with PDPA regulations?

By following this checklist and employing Cartrack solutions, you can ensure your fleet business handles personal data responsibly and stays compliant with the PDPA.

Achieve PDPA Compliance with Cartrack

Managing your fleet and keeping driver and customer data secure is easy with Cartrack’s smart fleet solution and data protection policy. We are your partner in navigating the ever-evolving world of data privacy.

Don't let data worries slow you down. Contact Cartrack today to improve fleet operations and remain PDPA-compliant.

Understanding the PDPA's terms and regulations can be daunting. Discover how the PDPA and Cartrack keep your personal information private.