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Ken Chia

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Ken Chia is a member of the Firm’s IP Tech, International Commercial & Trade and Competition Practice Groups. He is regularly ranked as a leading TMT and competition lawyer by top legal directories, including Chambers Asia Pacific and Legal 500 Asia Pacific. Ken is an IAPP Certified International Privacy Professional (FIP, CIPP(A), CIPT, CIPM) and a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and the Singapore Institute of Arbitrators.

The Singapore Parliament has passed the Cybersecurity (Amendment) Bill (“Bill”) amending the Cybersecurity Act 2018 (“Act”). The Act, which formerly only regulated Critical Information Infrastructure (CII), has been expanded significantly to cover a wider range of entities. Reporting obligations have been expanded. Finally, the penalty regime has also been revised, and the Cybersecurity Agency of Singapore may now issue civil penalties in place of criminal penalties, with the maximum quantum of penalties significantly increased to up to 10% of the annual turnover of the entity in Singapore.

On 2 April 2024, the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore issued its closing note to the Public Consultation on the Cybersecurity (Amendment) Bill (“Bill”). The Public Consultation on the draft Bill was held from 15 December 2023 to 15 January 2024. The CSA First Reading of the Bill took place on 3 April 2024. The Second Reading of the Bill is slated to take place on 7 May 2024.

The Personal Data Protection Commission (PDPC) has issued the finalized Advisory Guidelines on the Use of Personal Data in AI Recommendation and Decision Systems (“Guidelines”). These Guidelines provide guidance on the use of personal data during three stages of AI system implementation: development, deployment (business-to-consumers) and procurement (business-to-business). In particular, the Guidelines clarify and elaborate on the application of the Consent Obligation and Notification Obligation, and their exceptions, under the Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA) to the use of personal data in AI systems.

The Ministry of Communications and Information has announced that the inter-agency Taskforce on the Resilience and Security of Digital Infrastructure and Services is studying the introduction of a Digital Infrastructure Act (DIA). The DIA builds on the Cybersecurity Act and aims to enhance the resilience and security of the digital infrastructure in Singapore. The scope of the DIA goes beyond cybersecurity and touches on other risks that may affect resilience.

The Online Criminal Harms Act (OCHA) was introduced in Parliament on 8 May 2023 and passed on 5 July 2023. It has commenced in part on 1 February 2024. Under the OCHA, five types of government directions may be issued to deal with criminal online activities. These directions can be issued to communicators of criminal content, online service providers, and internet service providers. Provisions on the issuance of codes of practice and directives in partnership with online services will come into force at a later stage.

The Cyber Security Agency has published a consultation paper on the proposed Cybersecurity (Amendment) Bill, which would amend the Cybersecurity Act 2018. The CAB seeks to strengthen the legal framework governing the maintenance of national cybersecurity in Singapore, against the pressing need for legislation to effectively address the fast-developing technological environment.

On 7 February 2024, Enterprise Singapore and the Info-communications Media Development Authority launched the Generative AI Sandbox for small and medium-sized enterprises. Through the sandbox, SMEs will be able to receive funding support to experience Generative AI enterprise solutions over a three-month period. This initiative builds on Singapore’s existing efforts to strengthen the development and ecosystem of AI locally.

The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and AI Verify Foundation have announced the draft Model AI Governance Framework for Generative AI (Framework), which adopts a systematic and balanced approach to addressing concerns posed by generative AI (GenAI) while continuing to facilitate innovation. The Framework expands on the Model AI Governance Framework that covered traditional AI, which was last updated in 2020.

On 9 January 2024, the Parliament of Singapore passed the Significant Investments Review Bill (“Bill”).
This Bill strengthens the Singapore government’s regulatory toolkit for investments in local and foreign entities that are significant to Singapore’s national security interests and ensures greater regulatory flexibility in safeguarding Singapore’s evolving national security interests. At the same time, the Bill has been designed to align with international norms and preserve Singapore’s open and investment-friendly economy.