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Case Notes

Case Notes

This case related to Code of Practice on Human Resource Management

Case No.:2000E12

Whether a tertiary education institution, in asking for a job applicant's age and marital status, contravenes the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance

Q: A local tertiary education institution is asking job applicants to provide information on their age and marital status. The question is whether this amount to excessive collection of personal data from the applicants.

A: Data Protection Principle ("DPP1") 1 in Schedule 1 to the Ordinance requires that only personal data that are necessary for the purposes for which the data are to be used should be collected from the data subjects. DPP 1 further requires that the data collected should be adequate but not excessive for those purposes. Applying this principle to your enquiry, the employer needs to be able to justify the reason why the age and the marital status of a job applicant are necessary for the recruitment purpose. Moreover, the employer should consider whether the recruitment may be carried out effectively without collecting the data in question.

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