Singapore has some of the toughest anti-online gambling laws around, including measures against players, but that has apparently not stopped illegal operators from bombarding locals with mobile phone spam, according to the Straits Times newspaper.
The newspaper reports that Singapore’s privacy watchdog, the Personal Data Protection Commission, has released statistics showing that online gambling promotions are second only to fast loan offers when it comes to cell phone spamming.
The statistics show that from January to September this year the public filed 8,800 complaints with the Commission regarding unsolicited messages offering loans and online gambling…and that is probably just the tip of the iceberg. These two categories alone comprise 80 percent of all mobile phone spamming, the watchdog notes.
The Commission points out that spammers are not only transgressing anti-spamming laws, but are abetting illegal activities, and although incidents of this nature have actually declined this year, this persistent and invasive form of marketing remains a concern for the authorities.
The Times also reports that from January to September, the public also filed 2,200 complaints related to personal data breaches and subsequent spam activity. Under Singapore’s Personal Data Protection Act, which went into effect in July 2014, organisations that fail to protect personal data can be fined up to $1 million per breach.
The Act requires that companies must check against the numbers listed on the Do-Not- Call Registry before sending out marketing messages or making telemarketing calls. Launched on Jan 2, 2014, the registry now contains more than 920,000 phone numbers of consumers who do not want to receive any marketing offers by phone, SMS or fax.
The Commission has taken action against more than 20 organisations and individuals under the Act so far.