Speech by Mr. Louis Ng Kok Kwang, MP for Nee Soon GRC at the Second Reading of the Info-communications Media Development Authority Bill
Madam Speaker, I welcome the move to better regulate the infocomm media sector, spur growth in the sector and ultimately create a globally-competitive infocomm media ecosystem for Singapore.
I am particularly keen on the IMDA’s mandate to strengthen safeguards for consumers highlighted in Clause 61, as ordinary users are exposed to greater risks with the increasing use of infocomm platforms.
I recall 15 years ago, when ACRES was first started, we bought a 56K dial up modem and struggled to get connected to the Internet.
Little did I anticipate that 15 years later, I can use a smart phone to take HD videos and within seconds, send it to anyone anywhere in the world.
Indeed, it is an understatement that the Internet has transformed our lives for the better.
However, technology is a double-edged sword and I hope that while the Agency promotes the use of the Internet and e-commerce, it can be accompanied by an equal measure of education on the risks they present. It should inform consumers on the rise in phishing and malware attacks.
A case emerged in June this year involving a phishing email which pretended to be sent from DBS. When the attached .zip file was opened, the malware it contains would immediately infect the customer’s computer or device and steal its login and authorisation details.
For many Singaporeans, they may fall easy prey to this tactic. I have heard many stories from my residents who have been misled by fraudsters to share sensitive personal data, or unwittingly clicked on links which downloaded malware.
With the pervasive use of data, I welcome efforts to continue promoting and regulating data protection through the Personal Data Protection Commission.
In this regard, could the Minister clarify what further efforts will be put in place by the new Agency with regards to the protection of personal data?
Will the Minister step up outreach efforts to the public, and provide details on the methods it will employ?
Range, quality and content of media services
Lastly, some of the functions of the agency include facilitating an adequate range of media services that serves the interest of the general public, ensuring that media services are provided at a high standard in all respects, particularly in repect of the quality, balance and range of subject matter of their content and ensuring that the content of media services is not against public interest, public order or national harmony, and does not offend against good taste or dencency.
In essences, the authority will decide on behalf of the public amongst others, the range, quality and content of media services.
Can the Minister clarify how the authority will make these decisions and whether more public consultations can be conducted to ensure we better understand the interest of the general public?
Madam Speaker, these concerns notwithstanding, I stand in support of this Bill.