On 8 May 2023, the Online Criminal Harms Bill was introduced for its first reading in the Parliament. The Bill follows a suite of legislation aimed at protecting the public from harms in the online space, and introduces mechanisms for authorities to more effectively tackle online criminal activity.
On 9 May 2023, the Ministry of Communications and Information published a statement by its minister announcing plans to issue Advisory Guidelines on the Use of Personal Data in AI Systems under the Personal Data Protection Act. Singapore had previously launched A.I. Verify, the world’s first AI governance testing framework and toolkit for companies that wish to demonstrate responsible AI in an objective and verifiable manner. By issuing the Advisory Guidelines, the government plans to support the responsible development and deployment of AI so that its benefits may be enjoyed in a safe and trusted manner.
Artificial intelligence and machine learning technology is driving important new business opportunities across a growing number of industry sectors, including consumer goods and retail. Many CG&R companies are looking into how AI can enhance their business processes and customer interactions and with generative AI and the arrival of ChatGPT, the scope for application is staggering.
The Carbon Pricing (Amendment) Act 2022 (“Act”), which came into force on 7 March 2023 and amends the Carbon Pricing Act 2018, seeks to advance Singapore’s transition towards net-zero.
The Act aims to encourage emitters of greenhouse gases to proactively reduce emissions by:
(a) progressively increasing carbon tax rates;
(b) introducing an industry transition framework to provide transitory allowances to companies in Emissions-Intensive Trade-Exposed sectors;
(c) setting up an International Carbon Credits framework; and
(d) revising the list of greenhouse gases and their Global Warming Potential Values.
On 31 May 2021, the Personal Data Protection Commission received a complaint that RedMart Limited was collecting images of the physical National Registration Identity Card and other identification documents of suppliers making deliveries to its warehouses.
The Environmental Public Health Amendment Bill, introduced in Parliament on 9 January 2023, has proposed revisions to the cleaning business license regulatory framework in a bid to drive capabilities and raise public health standards of cleaning businesses. The existing framework, which was introduced in September 2014, only provides for one type of cleaning business license. However, the revised framework, which is intended to come into force from 1 January 2024, will provide for three different classes of cleaning business licenses.
The Electric Vehicles Charging Act 2022 that seeks to regulate the provision of safe and reliable charging of Electric Vehicles and the expansion of the EV charging infrastructure in Singapore was passed by Parliament in January 2023. The Act is expected to take effect in the second half of 2023. Notably, the Act sets out a licensing regime for EV charging operators and also prescribes certification requirements that all EV chargers would have to meet before the chargers can be installed and used in Singapore.
As part of its efforts to offer enterprise users and their vendors better guidance on deploying Internet of Things technologies, the Info-communications Media Development Authority has published Annex C: Case Study on Smart Buildings (informative) to the IoT Cyber Security Guide. Annex C provides a starting point for businesses in the Facilities Management industry with smart systems to reevaluate their cybersecurity needs and infrastructure.
The Online Safety (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill was read a second time in Parliament and was passed into law on 9 November 2022. While the Ministry of Communications and Information has not released the commencement date of the new laws, they, together with the Code of Practice for Online Safety, are likely to kick in as early as 2023.
The Ministry of Communications and Information tabled the Online Safety (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill for its first reading in Parliament on 3 October 2022, setting out proposed regulations of providers of online communication services with significant reach or impact accessible by any Singapore end-user, as well as measures to prevent access to egregious content. The aim of the Bill is to enhance online user safety, particularly for children, and to curb the spread of harmful content on OCS. Designated providers of such OCS will have to comply with Codes of Practice issued by the Info-communications Media Development Authority to enhance online safety for Singapore end-users and curb the spread of harmful content on their service.