Jump Rope (Singapore) gets warning over disclosing particulars of blacklisted former employee

SINGAPORE - Jump Rope (Singapore), the non-profit group that promotes rope skipping in schools here, was issued a warning by the Personal Data Protection Commission for disclosing the identity of a blacklisted former employee to some 30 Singapore government schools.

The Commission found the e-mail notice of naming and shaming was not justified as, among other things, it took place after the part-time instructor's services had already been terminated and there was no employment relationship.

The Commission in decision grounds issued last week found Jump Rope had failed to obtain the consent of the instructor and its actions had gone " beyond what is reasonable in the circumstances", based on the provisions of the Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA).

"The Commission has not found any business or legal reasons that justifies (Jump Rope)'s actions in writing to its clients to inform them of the blacklisting," it said.

"It is not uncommon for employees to leave for various reasons including for poor performance and breaches of codes of conduct."

Jump Rope, a society that promotes rope-skipping, was set up by its president who is also owner of Emotion Learning and Eltitude. The two companies provide enrichment and CCA education, as well as enrichment and sports coaching services respectively.

All names were redacted in the decision grounds.

The instructor was an employee of the two companies and underwent in-house training from Emotion. He was certified in rope-skipping coaching by Jump Rope.

Jump Rope revoked his certificate and blacklisted him for alleged unethical activities duing his employment.

The president decided in November 2014 to e-mail various government schools involved in the sport of rope-skipping of the blacklisting, mentioning the instructor's name and identity card number, and stating he was not suitable for coaching duties in schools.

The Commission probed the case after the instructor lodged a complaint on Dec 1, 2014. Based on various factors and circumstances of the case, including Jump Rope's submissions, it decided to issue a warning for breach of the relevant PDPA laws.

"Given the potential adverse effect or consequence on the complainant from the disclosure of such information to third parties, in particular , the impact of future engagement of the complainant's services to jump rope activities, Jump Rope ought to have taken the extra care and precautions in relation to the protection and disclosure of personal data of the complainant," it added.