On 24 November 2022, the Health Sciences Authority published its Regulatory Guidelines for Laboratory Developed Tests. The new guidelines will come into effect from 1 March 2023. The HSA first published a draft version of the Regulatory Guidelines for LDTs on 12 July 2022. It invited stakeholders to provide feedback on the document, and held a public consultation period from 12 July 2022 to 12 August 2022.
On 14 November 2022, the Health Sciences Authority issued an alert on five products that it found to contain potent medicinal ingredients and informed the public not to purchase such products. Two of the products were obtained from Malaysia through the consumers’ friends and relatives; while the other three were available on local e-commerce platforms. The HSA has worked with the platforms to remove the affected listings.
On 7 November 2022, the Health Sciences Authority issued an update on products that were found by overseas regulators to contain potent ingredients. Such potent ingredients are banned from health products as they may cause certain side effects.
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.
On 19 October 2022, the Health Sciences Authority issued an alert on fake HSA accounts on the TikTok platform. The HSA stated that it does not have a TikTok account and advised members of the public not to click on any links or respond to these fake accounts.
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.
As part of the multi-pronged effort by the Infocomm Media Development Authority and other stakeholders to combat scams and safeguard SMS messaging as a communications channel, the IMDA will implement two measures following a public consultation: (i) mandatory registration with the Singapore SMS Sender ID Registry: Registration with the SSIR will be mandatory for all organizations that use SMS Sender IDs, and (ii) telecommunications operators to implement SMS anti-scam filtering solutions: Anti-scam filtering solutions will be implemented by telecommunications operators within their mobile networks to automatically filter potential scam messages before they reach consumers.
On 6 October 2022, the Health Sciences Authority issued an update on products found and reported by overseas regulators to contain potent ingredients that are prohibited and briefly explained the possible side effects of the potent ingredients. The update aims to increase awareness among the local population on the safety issues of such products overseas. To better protect local consumers from harmful products that can be found overseas and online, the HSA not only conducts local surveillance, but monitors overseas enforcement actions, and updates consumers on products that may pose a threat to public health.
As part of an ongoing approach to combat scams, the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) has proposed new measures to reduce the ability of scammers to spoof their identity by using the same alphanumeric sender identification (“SMS Sender ID”) used by bona fide businesses. To further enhance consumer protection, the IMDA intends to make Singapore SMS Sender ID Registry (SSIR) registration mandatory for organisations who wish to use SMS Sender IDs.
Organisations using SMS Sender IDs must register with the SSIR using their Unique Entity Number (UEN) and aggregators handling SMS with Sender IDs must also participate in the SSIR and verify organisations via their UENs.
The Singapore Court of Appeal, in its recent decision of Reed, Michael v Bellingham, Alex (Attorney-General, intervener)  SGCA 60, provides clarity on two provisions under the Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA). The first is section 4(1)(b), which states that the PDPA does not impose any obligation on any employee acting in the course of their employment with an organization. The second is the then section 32 (now section 48O), which allows individuals who suffer loss or damage as a result of an organization’s contravention of the PDPA, the right to commence private action against the organization.