The Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data, Hong Kong (Privacy Commissioner) Mr Stephen Kai-yi WONG attended the 41st International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners (ICDPPC) in Tirana, Albania. The theme of this year's conference was “Convergence and Connectivity: Raising Global Data Protection Standards in the Digital Age.” As one of the long-time members of ICDPPC, the Privacy Commissioner, representing Hong Kong and joining forces with other members, promoted a number of resolutions on various personal data protection issues, including ICDPPC’s policy strategy, and combating violent, hatred and extremist content on social media online, etc. All proposed resolutions were passed at the conference.
The Privacy Commissioner stressed that as the use and transfer of personal data become borderless, a common set of regulatory framework and standards would help bridge the gaps amongst various existing frameworks and standards and strengthen the environment for mutual cooperation. In particular, he pointed out that Hong Kong has recently encountered challenges in law enforcement in privacy protection, as a result of a large amount of personal data having been leaked and abused. The legal and ethical responsibilities of social platforms, as well as the harm that members of the public suffer, have become a matter of concern.
The Privacy Commissioner took the opportunity to inform all attending members from the privacy protection authorities around the world of the facts relating to social incidents over the past few months, including the large number of doxxing and cyberbullying cases, and the follow-up actions taken by his office (PCPD). The Privacy Commissioner stated that the weaponisation of personal data over the past four months has become a major challenge in privacy protection.
The Privacy Commissioner suggested joining forces with other jurisdictions to develop a bilateral or multilateral assistance mechanism in the investigation of criminal offences of personal data privacy, in order to help investigate “doxxing” acts relating to violence and hate speech on the internet.
At the conference, the Privacy Commissioner also gave a speech on "Accountability Framework under The Development of Artificial Intelligence and the Data Ethics in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region". He pointed out that artificial intelligence has brought about economic and social benefits, and its applications in Hong Kong and the rest of the world are increasingly widespread. However, its impact on data privacy cannot be ignored, such as lack of transparency, inexplicability of machine learning, potential risks of bias and discrimination, etc. Hence, accountability and data ethics should be promoted, and Privacy Management Programme and Privacy by Design should be made prerequisites for those who use or process personal data.
The Privacy Commissioner also spoke at two other sessions on “Global Convergence in Data Protection Law” and the “Future Challenges for Data Protection Authorities and Data Protection Officers”, briefing the audience on his recent work on reviewing Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance and the development of data privacy in the mainland of China in recent years.
As a co-chair of ICDPPC Working Group on Ethics and Data Protection in Artificial Intelligence, the Privacy Commissioner reported on the latest initiatives of the working group during the conference, including the public consultation results of the principles and directions on data ethics and data protection in artificial intelligence set out at last year’s ICDPPC. The results of the public consultation showed that ethical considerations for protecting personal data privacy should be flexible enough to cater for different aspects of AI use cases. The PCPD would as a next step bring forward the consultation results and further discuss with various industries in Hong Kong, the Asia Pacific region and the mainland of China, so as to find out how industries in the region see the adoption of ethical standards in artificial intelligence applications on the premise of highlighting pragmatism, realism, and collaboration.
The Privacy Commissioner also took the opportunity to meet with representatives of data protection authorities around the world and privacy professional associations to exchange views on global privacy protection outlook and the latest issues of mutual concern. He also held meetings with representatives of multinational tech-giants, urging the relevant online platforms operators to properly address issues such as avoiding legal regulation by operating outside Hong Kong; their social responsibilities; the public expectations; the consistent application of privacy protection policies and timely review of such policies. The responses from these tech-giants are encouraging. The Privacy Commissioner was interviewed by a number of international media agencies, explaining the latest privacy issues and related development in Hong Kong.
ICDPPC has been an important platform for Privacy Commissioners globally, attended by representatives of more than 120 data protection authorities, as well as related organisations and enterprises from around the world. Faced with the ever-evolving privacy challenges, this year’s conference discussed how data protection authorities can converge and establish more platforms of collaboration. About 700 participants from all around the world attended the conference. The conference also passed a resolution that it be renamed "Global Privacy Assembly". More information about the 41st ICDPPC can be found at www.privacyconference2019.info.
Privacy Commissioner Mr Stephen Wong attended the 41st International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners in Tirana, Albania on 22 October 2019.
Privacy Commissioner Mr Stephen Wong (middle) spoke at a panel session titled “Global convergence in data protection law: where are we converging and what progress are we making towards common standards?” at the 41st International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners in Tirana, Albania on 23 October 2019.
|The 41st International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners, an important annual thought-leadership platform for worldwide Privacy Commissioners, was held in Tirana, Albania between 21 and 24 October 2019.