January 2, 2014 not only marks the start of a New Year for all of us, but it’s also a new year of not having to endure the disruption caused by cold-callers calling at all hours of the day. This is courtesy to the Do No Call registry spam list that is due to finally come into force. Unfortunately, a catch that has been added at the eleventh hour.
The Personal Data Protection Commission (PDPC) have adjusted the regulations and allow companies who already have a pre-existing relationship with customers to maintain the right to text or fax them. As an example, a SingTel customer would still have to contend with promotional text messages from tomorrow. The only alternative would be to manually inform SingTel to stop any form of communication.
Troublesome? You bet! In my opinion, this simply renders the whole DNC purpose useless. Put it this way, I was one of those who signed up early for the list in order to avoid receiving promotional text messages from telcos and insurance companies, among others. What is the purpose of signing up if I still have to contact them one by one to unsubscribe?
[box type=”info”]The abrupt backtracking aside, the list could be a way for organizations to keep up-to-date on whether a number is valid.[/box]
The abrupt backtracking aside, the list could be a way for organizations to keep up-to-date on whether a number is valid. Think about it: The list has since grown to store thousands of numbers that are in use by real users. Any business that manage to get hold of the list would have their efforts in trying to track which number is still in use or invalid reduced by more than half.
As for now, the new exemption simply stripped off an important amount of the protection that was originally intended. For me, I always receive text messages from companies that I am already a member with, which will mean that it would probably have no beneficial effect on me.