Singapore’s Trusted Data Sharing Framework: Data Republic weighs in

With Singapore’s Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) releasing its Trusted Data Sharing Framework in June 2019, Singaporean organizations in both the public and private sectors can now align the management of their data sharing under the government-endorsed framework.

Considering the common pain points faced in the data industry today – particularly around data collaboration – does the IMDA framework do enough to provide Singaporean companies with clear, accessible guidelines for participating in the data economy?

Data Republic weighs in.


Pain points for the modern data-driven enterprise

Companies today face a raft of challenges when attempting to leverage the data economy and share valuable data with each other. Some of these include:

  • Time-consuming legal negotiations
  • Unsecure project negotiation methods (e.g. email)
  • No clear workflow for agreeing a data license between parties
  • No secure data discovery mechanism (e.g. legals in place before data is validated for use case)
  • No guarantee of personal information (PI) protection or safety
  • IT delays
  • No means of auditing activity or reporting on use

But by far the most common challenge we see is that business leaders simply don’t know a) where to begin, and b) how to scale up their participation in the data economy.

What the introduction of IMDA’s framework solidifies is that data sharing’s role in everyday activities is increasingly relevant. What’s more, members of the C-suite can use this framework to prepare for secure data collaboration, while ensuring customer privacy is protected.


A progressive step for data collaboration

At Data Republic, we’re pleased to see that the framework not only delivers clear and accessible guidelines for Singaporean companies in terms of data sharing, but that it outlines how business leaders can prepare for the unique risks associated with data collaboration.

It offers actionable guidance on setting up legal agreements, building a data strategy and managing data sharing projects.

With clients in disparate industries (major banks, airlines, retailers and even governments) right across Singapore, Australia and the United States, we believe this framework is essential to building trust in a data sharing ecosystem that promotes legal, technical and privacy solutions.

The IMDA framework is fully aligned with the best-practice principles underpinning Data Republic’s methodology.


How will the framework help enterprises engage with their data?

It’s estimated that not even 1% of global data – which is perpetually expanding and expected to reach 175 zettabytes by 2025 – is actually analyzed let alone used. That means the vast majority of collected data is stagnating in silos and not being put towards the greater customer, business or social good.

What the IMDA framework will do is empower businesses to energize their data flows so they can deliver more personalized and real-time services to customers, among countless other positives.

For example, consider a data pipeline that allows you to give consent to an airline who will notify your bank and cell provider when you’re travelling abroad. Blocked credit cards and massive international roaming charges would be a thing of the past.

Or consider being able to automatically share your credit-repayment history with relevant utility companies. A personalized plan for electricity, gas or otherwise – one that meets both your financial and lifestyle needs – would be delivered without the need for you to contact a single company.

The possibilities are only limited by our willingness to engage in the data economy.


The vital next step 

Despite the framework acting as a positive signal for data as an enabler of digital and AI, there are still steps to be taken as we anticipate a shift toward the movement of insight rather than the movement of raw data. Federated analytics and algorithm to the data are where we see the majority of data collaboration projects heading. And while this approach is indeed touched upon in the current framework, we believe its ramifications should be detailed in more depth in subsequent iterations, as well as insights into how to manage distributed data analysis.

That being said, we’re encouraged by the acknowledgement of how important customer consent is to all data sharing activities. The next step will ideally see the trust framework evolve to include practical mechanisms for active consent management that creates opportunities for individuals to be part of the data economy.


The IMDA framework offers organizations a practical roadmap for secure data sharing in the data economy. Download the whitepaper Innovation vs Privacy: The Open Data Dilemma to learn more about the data economy and how your organization can prepare.

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