Singapore Betting on Laws to Force Social Media Corporations

to Improve Privacy Security

Written By

Bradley Fowler, MA, MS, MPP, MMIS

If Singapore has its way, social media corporations will be required by LAW to enact community standards, including content moderation automation to protect end-users from harmful content. The proposed law will render regulators power to enforce social media corporations to omit and block content deemed harmful, particularly to young adults. However, Facebook is one social media corporation that has modified its approach to governing dissemination of misinformation and abuse of content creation and deterring abuse of its social media platform. Within the setting of each personal profile are policy configuration markers that enable end-users to control public posting, language and region, privacy of the profile and all content as well as block users, messages, app invites, event invites, and pages. This self-serving application can be configured by parents who are concerned about their young children from being targeted with abusive, offensive, and adult language content control. Not only does Facebook enable its profile users this liberty but extends this model for Instagram too.

Singapore has previously enacted a fake news law because of increased misinformation and dissemination of misinformation political campaigns. Singapore joined Australia, Germany, and Great Britain in their efforts to control online content posting and sharing. While this movement could be instrumental in encouraging other countries to mirror the enactment of laws and policy to safeguard consumers from cyberwarfare, cyber terrorism, cyber bullying, cyber-crime, cyber stalking, cybersex trafficking, and cyberattacks; this movement faces resistance.

In fact, when the European Commission enacted the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) on May 25, 2018, they hoped this law would be globally recognized and establish a universal model for compliance. The GDPR primarily protects the privacy of citizens in the EU and EEA territories-i.e., Switzerland and Norway. The GDRP also focuses on the protection of personal data, including email, names, addresses, tax ID numbers, and for protecting data in process-i.e., collecting, storing, recording, and transferring data. Violators could reach fines of 20 million euros or higher. But even this has not impacted the way data is processed and protected online, especially with social media corporations. However, social media corporations are witness to the litigation and liability suits their competitors face and are implementing increased privacy and security management control that gives end-users more power in protecting themselves and their personal information online.

Perhaps Singapore could benefit from mirroring many country’s cyber laws and policy to improve cyber laws and policy in Singapore that are effective in deterring cyber abuse, cybercrime, cyber terrorism, cyber bullying, cyber stalking, cybersex trafficking, cyber warfare, and cyber espionage. However, to effectively improve how secure data is online and how social media corporations govern end-users’ usage of the software applications integrated to enable private ownership of social media profile pages and content requires all countries government, Parliaments, and Ministries to work in concert to increase cyber laws and policy that warrant compliance.

Cybersecurity public policy, worldwide, needs an upgrade to empower each country to feel secure working with other countries that develop, implement, and manage cybersecurity public policy, citizens respect, honor, and agree with. And even though governments have enacted cyber laws and Internet laws dating back to the 1970s, it is easier to develop, implement, and manage cyber security public policy that aligns with cyber and Internet laws globally enacted and support the prosecution of violators, no matter the territory the cyber abuse actor resides.

In fact, increased focus needs to be on risk management and how end-users utilize and implement security on social media. If social media corporations invested more in training profile owners upon signing up, there could be more security features integrated and utilized correctly to deter misinformation from being disseminated globally. There could also be a decrease in successful cyber attacks and cyber abuse of social media platforms. Thus, one recommendation that Singapore should assess is asking social media corporations to increase employment of administrators and moderators, who can increase assessment of data sources and content posted on social media sites. I’m sure Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tik Tok, and others would certainly willfully deploy methods and regulation that increases end-users’ usage and shields young adults from misinformation and adult content that violates global cyber laws and policy. Until each country joins the United States, European Commission, and United Nation in deployment of cybersecurity policy and cybersecurity privacy laws, there will continue to be abuse of social media corporation Web sites, that are protected by liberties in Western societies that do not enforce laws from Singapore or any other country because of the misusage of authority over cybersecurity law and public policy. Learn more about cybersecurity public policy in the pages of Cybersecurity Public Policy SWOT Analysis for 43 Countries.