Professional details used for marketing purposes

My friend recently received an e-mail from an organisation asking for his company's e-mail address.

I am concerned about how professional details can be used to contact him and others for personal requests or marketing purposes.

The organisation had gathered business contact information from a business chamber's website and was contacting individuals, seeking donations.

When queried, the organisation stated that what it was doing was compliant with the Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA).

If that is the case, the PDPA seems ineffective, as many of our personal and professional details, such as mobile phone numbers and e-mail addresses, can be harvested from business name cards or company webpages for marketing purposes by third parties.

It would be easy to further exploit this by surreptitiously adding a "corporate" request for contact details at the end of any marketing or sales call or e-mail.

If any details are given, consent would seem implicit, thereby preventing the marketing firm from falling foul of the PDPA.

Shaun Richard

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 12, 2018, with the headline 'Professional details used for marketing purposes'. Print Edition | Subscribe