Inaccuracies in PDPC's reply

Ms Evelyn Goh's response for the Personal Data Protection Commission (PDPC) does not paint an accurate picture of what happened (PDPC investigating complaints against school; Nov 27).

First, Ms Goh replied that the PDPC takes all alleged violations "very seriously".

Yet, she unwittingly admitted how my complaint - and probably Mr Mohan Varadarajalu's (Firms bypassing data protection rules?; Nov 18) too - was brushed off as "resolved immediately" just by "taking up the issue" with the organisation's officer.

The spam, in fact, stopped only after almost an entire month of chasing.

It seems Mr Varadarajalu has it worse, since the PDPC changed its tune and used a new "exemption order" as a reason, despite its earlier assurance to him of permanent removal from the mailing list.

Second, there was no "initial" or "additional" complaint - right from the start, mine had always been a single complaint about violation, stated as "Did not get my consent to collect/use/disclose my personal data". I had "furnished more information" merely at the request of the PDPC.

Ms Goh is essentially proving my point that the PDPC downplayed my complaint as nothing more than a request to unsubscribe, despite me having further explained how there had been multiple similar complaints by others on the school's Facebook page, which has since been deactivated.

Lastly, contrary to Ms Goh's claim, the PDPC's officers corresponded with me only to request clarification on information that I had provided previously, and not to "keep (me) updated on the outcome of their investigations".

In fact, the PDPC's manager of operations and investigations told me: "As our investigation findings are confidential, we regret to inform you that we will not be able to provide you with updates on our findings at this juncture."

Terence Lim

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