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For the Love of TV

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I will not be the first person to admit that I do not watch local TV. Since moving out of my parents place and into modernity, I have cut the cord and hardly looked back. For now, any television is limited to Netflix, Hulu, Plex and Youtube.

It seems that somewhere else in this country, things are moving into modernity as well. Digital TV! How it exactly improves lives is not obvious, but it will make old televisions obsolete by 31 December 2018.

With very limited motivation on the consumer’s end, it was obvious that they were going to come up with this sooner or later:

I got my letter and after some hesitation, I decided to get it.
Something still bothers me though. How did the IMDA (the government agency in charge of these things) find out that I was not a subscriber to Pay TV? Occam’s razor suggests that they probably did this:

  1. Obtain a list of households which subscribe to Pay TV from Pay TV Companies (ie. Singtel and Starhub)
  2. Compare list of households in #1 with all households living in HDB
  3. Realise which households have no Pay TV and thus “need” to have starter kit.

At this juncture, it is important to note that the Singapore Personal Data Protection Act does not apply to the government. Even though the government makes it known that it is bound to its own privacy and data protection standards, very little is known about it. Furthermore, not only is the government not bound by the PDPA, companies disclosing information requested by the government is not liable under the PDPA.

Given various information sets that the government has access to, creative uses of data to make decisions may become very disturbing. Even if the government remains outside the PDPA, I sincerely hope that more transparency is available in how the government uses data, and there is some discussion whether such use is appropriate or necessary.

In the meantime, I will be trying to set up my new TV antenna.