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Media Statements

Media Statements

Date: 18 October 2010

Privacy Commissioner responds to Government's proposals on Review of the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance

1.    The Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data ("the Commissioner") Mr. Allan Chiang notes with mixed reactions the Report on Public Consultation on Review of the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance ("the Ordinance") issued today (18 October) by the Secretary for Constitutional & Mainland Affairs.

2.    "I am glad that the Government agreed to pursue the majority of the proposals made by the Office of the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data ("the PCPD"), with the objectives of increasing the control and penalties to afford greater protection to personal data privacy, and enhancing the effectiveness and efficiency of PCPD’s work.  I am also pleased that the Government has proposed to introduce new provisions to make unauthorised sale of personal data by data user an offence.  This will address the widespread public concern arising from the recent Octopus incident whereby customers’ personal data were transferred to third parties for direct marketing in return for monetary gains."  Mr. Chiang said.

3.   "However, I am disappointed that the Government is not prepared to pursue other proposals we have earlier submitted.  These include:-
(a)  Sensitive personal data (particularly biometric data) should be subject to more
       stringent control;
(b)  Direct regulation of data processors and sub-contracting activities;
(c)  Granting criminal investigation and prosecution power to the PCPD;
(d)  Empowering the PCPD to
      (i) award compensation to aggrieved data subjects; and
     (ii) require data user to pay monetary penalty for serious contravention of Data 
          Protection Principles;
(e)  Collection and use of personal data in direct marketing as regards
     (i)  the data user should obtain the explicit consent of the data subject to so use the personal data i.e. the "opt-in" proposal;
     (ii) setting up of a territory-wide do-not-call register against direct marketing activities;
    (iii)  the right for data subject to request disclosure by direct marketers the source of his personal data collected by it." Mr. Chiang added.  

The Commissioner hopes that these issues will be further debated by the stakeholders so that a consensus could be reached to meet the aspirations of the Hong Kong community in regard to protection of personal data privacy.