Officials can't ask for NRIC details every time; know when you should reveal your details

Singapore NRIC
NRIC YouTube grab

New rules have been issued stating that from September 1, 2019, organisations will not be allowed to collect, use or disclose anyone's NRIC number, as well as other national identification numbers such as birth certification, foreign identification and work permit numbers.

In case of a private security officer, where an official seeks for an identification number of someone, that person should comply with the request.

People can disclose or use the NRIC details to get an entry in sensitive places such as bank vaults, data centres, server rooms or security operations rooms but these details are not allowed to be recorded where other visitors or unauthorised persons can see them.

Security officers are now allowed to only visually inspect the NRIC of an individual but they cannot record the full number. It can happen in case of criminal offences such as trespassing but that also depends on the seriousness of the offence. However, the officer may record a partial NRIC number as well as the full name of the person, the mobile numbers or the postal code.

Officers can also ask to check the NRIC number in case of civil suits such as nuisance or harassment cases, especially then if the officers believe that the offender is hiding the truth.

It should be also noted that the security officials can also ask for the NRIC number if anyone violates in-house rules such as smoking or unauthorised parking in a private residence.

Even if an individual has to collect a parcel from a security officer, he may have to show NRIC details but the official cannot record the full number.

There are some cases where the security officers cannot ask to see the NRIC details as per the new rules'. It includes situations like when a person claims or deposits lost or found items. But if the item is sensitive or highly valuable, the officer may inspect the NRIC to verify that person's identity.

Singaporeans will be allowed to file a complaint with the Personal Data Protection Commission (PDPC) after September 1, if a person finds that the collection of his NRIC number has violated the rules.

If the authority finds an organization guilty of breaching PDPA rules, first they will be asked to stop collecting, using or disclosing the NRIC data and destroy the collected details. In case of conviction, they can also face a fine up to S$1 million.