Table of Contents Table of Contents
Previous Page  2 / 192 Next Page
Show Menu
Previous Page 2 / 192 Next Page
Page Background

Chapter 1



The Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance (Cap 486) (“the Ordinance”) is

different from other ordinances in Hong Kong in that it is principle-based

and generally more instructive than prohibitive. Its core provisions are

encapsulated in the six data protection principles which are found in

Schedule 1 of the Ordinance. These principles are the cornerstones of the

Ordinance which aims to protect the privacy of individuals in relation to

their personal data.


The Ordinance was holistically amended upon the passing of the Personal

Data (Privacy) (Amendment) Ordinance in June 2012


and changes were

introduced to some of the data protection principles which took effect on

1 October 2012.


The intention behind the six data protection principles was the creation of

a new culture in effecting the handling of personal data during its whole

life cycle from collection to destruction. The principles do not regulate the

conduct of the data users in detail. In most cases, contraventions of the

principles do not constitute criminal offences. It is when a data user fails to

comply with the terms of an enforcement notice issued by the Privacy

Commissioner for Personal Data (“the Commissioner”) after a finding of a

contravention that he becomes liable to be punished under the Ordinance.

A data user will also commit an offence if he, having complied with an

enforcement notice, intentionally performs the same act or makes the

same omission in contravention of the requirement under the Ordinance as

specified in the enforcement notice. An enforcement notice issued by the

Commissioner to the offending data user after an investigation will direct

the data user to take steps to remedy and, if appropriate, prevent

recurrence of the contravention. Contravention of a data protection

principle can also form the basis of a civil suit against the data user by the

aggrieved individual for compensation of damage suffered


whether or

not an enforcement notice has been issued.


The Amendment Ordinance was gazetted on 6 July 2012.


Section 66 of the Ordinance.