Monday, February 27, 2006

Privacy is in the eye of the beholder

S'pore Police pictures privacy

Yesterday we wrote about the Tammy Nyp sex video, and the apparent lack of regard of Singaporean citizens for their own privacy.

But it's not only the general population who lack privacy awareness in Singapore. It's the marketing community too, as this newspaper commentary from a Singaporean lawyer shows.

The writer especially criticizes the habit of Singaporean companies to have their customers routinely fill in their IC numbers (Singapore's Social Security numbers) on promotional coupons and response forms. If the promotion is a contest and a prize is awarded, the winners' ICs are even published in newspapers ad!

Compare this peculiar habit to the fact that in the US even an inadvertent release of a consumer's SSN is seen as a serious privacy breach, and you see how extreme the difference in privacy awareness between the two populations is. And we haven't even started on Europe.

Maybe it's time for that privacy awareness campaign, Singapore?

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