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Chapter 12

Exemption Provisions in Part 8

The main questions:

• What are the different categories of exemptions under Part 8?

• When is personal data held by a magistrate or a judicial officer exempt from the

provisions of the DPPs under section 51A? Under what circumstances does the legal

proceedings exemption under section 60B apply?

• What is the scope of the “domestic purposes” exemption intended to be covered by

section 52?

• When do the employment-related exemptions in sections 53 and 54 and the

evaluative process exemptions in sections 55 and 56 apply?

• What is the effect of invoking the exemption under section 57, i.e. safeguarding

security, etc. of Hong Kong in denying a data access request? What is the relevance

of section 63 in relation to this exemption?

• What are the Commissioner’s views on the operation of the exemption under section

58 on prevention of crime?

• When do the health exemption in section 59 and the emergency situations exemption

under section 63C apply?

• Under what circumstances does section 59A apply to exempt the disclosure of

personal data of minors for their care and guardianship?

• When do the legal professional privilege exemption under section 60 and the self-

incrimination exemption under section 60A arise?

• What constitutes “news activity” under section 61?

• What is meant by a “due diligence exercise” under section 63B?

The questions discussed in this Chapter concerning the exemption provisions in Part 8 of the

Ordinance have been selected on the basis of their practical importance in light of the

Commissioner’s own experience. Before reading this Chapter, readers should read paragraphs

1.7 to 1.11 in Chapter 1 —

Introduction, which contain important general information on using

this Book.

Exemptions in General


Section 51 in Part 8 of the Ordinance provides as follows:

Where any personal data is exempt from any provision of this Ordinance by virtue of this

Part, then, in respect of that data and to the extent of that exemption, that provision