The Personal Data Protection Commission ("PDPC") has confirmed that it is adopting "the practical rule of thumb that a minor who is at least 13 years of age would typically have sufficient understanding to be able to consent on his own behalf" (paragraph 8.6, Advisory Guidelines on the PDPA for Selected Topics - Data Activities Relating to Minors).
Take note: the Guidelines also highlight that notwithstanding this rule of thumb, if an organisation has reason to believe, or if it can be shown, that the minor doesn't understand the nature and consequences of granting consent, the organisation should seek consent from the minor's parent or legal guardian.
In short, "13" should not be mistaken for a magical number that puts you irretrievably in the safe zone - the fact that the PDPC expressly highlights this point in the Guidelines indicates that it's probably willing to look beyond an individual's age if complaints involving minors arise.
Associate Director, Bernard & Rada Law Corporation
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