The Personal Data Protection Commission (PDPC) issued an advisory on 31 Aug 2018 to prohibit the collection, use and disclosure of NRIC (or copies of NRIC) unless the verification of a person's identity to a high degree fidelity is required and necessary to prevent (i) a significant safety or security risk; and/or (ii) a risk of significant impact or harm to an individual or to the organisation.
As such, NTU-IRB advises all researchers to cease collection of NRIC numbers unless the research interventions are medical/ clinical in nature; or if the PI can justify points (i) and (ii) above in your research study.
- If your consent forms or protocol asks for NRIC numbers, please remove these requirements immediately.
- For researchers with existing NRIC records of participants, please erase your records or reduce your records to partial NRIC numbers (e.g. Sxxxx567A) if you wish to maintain fidelity of records. Note that partial NRIC numbers are still considered Personal Data.
Alternatives to NRIC numbers for recruitment of participants:
ii. Matriculation number (if student)
iii. Email addresses/ mobile numbers
iv. Visual checking of photo ID/ NRIC
v. Partial NRIC number (e.g. Sxxxx567A)
Note: These alternatives are still considered to be personal data. Researchers have the duty to protect all personal data collected.