The Office of the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data (PCPD), Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) and the Korea Information Security Agency (KISA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on 27 November 2002 to foster better understanding and co-operation on research on protection of personal data privacy in their respective jurisdictions.
The MOU was signed in Seoul by Mr Raymond Tang, Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data, HKSAR, and Mr Whie-Kap Cho, President of KISA.
In the new information age, enormous volume of personal data are collected, processed and used in the borderless cyber world. In order to protect individuals' personal data privacy, data protection authorities across continents seek to co-operate with each other and share in comprehensive data protection activities in an effort to tackle the ever-rising problem of infringement on personal data privacy.
Recognizing that international co-operation is crucial to reducing personal data privacy intrusion, Hong Kong and Korea have decided to establish an co-operative relationship through an MOU to improve mutual understanding and to foster personal data protection between the two places.
"Hong Kong and Korea have common objectives in promoting community awareness of personal data privacy in line with internationally recognized data protection principles. Data protection authorities tend to have similar tasks in their work portfolio. I shall be glad to share our experiences with KISA in dealing with various common issues such as e-smart card, cyber privacy, surveillance activities, consumer credit reports, public record information et al." Mr Tang said.
The MOU is to set forth the common mission of enhancing co-operation and joint research as well as development of education and training programmes.
Although non-binding in legalistic terms, the MOU acts as an expression of both parties' genuine interest to explore opportunities for future co-operation. The MOU signifies a positive step forward in developing a close and long-standing relationship between Hong Kong and Korea and paves the way to the creation of a strengthened regional forum for the advancement of personal data protection which recognizes the realities of diverse legal systems and cultural backgrounds.
"This is the first bilateral agreement on personal data privacy that Hong Kong has made with another jurisdiction. I am confident that our concerted efforts will bring considerable benefits and I look forward to increase co-operation with Korea following the signing of the MOU. The HKSAR has a comprehensive data privacy regime in regulatory terms and is well placed to contribute to the broader privacy community. The PCPD will continue to explore opportunities for similar bilateral arrangements on personal data privacy with other regional partners." Mr Tang said.