Country Studies: B.3 - Hong Kong
COMPARATIVE STUDY ON DIFFERENT APPROACHES TO NEW PRIVACY CHALLENGES, IN PARTICULAR IN THE LIGHT OF TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS, D. Korff, ed., May 2010
37 Pages Posted: 20 Mar 2012
Date Written: October 30, 2009
This report prepared for the European Commission gives an overview of data privacy protection in Hong Kong as at October 2009. It includes an analysis of the proposals put forward by the Hong Kong administration in a Consultation Document (2009) for reform of Hong Kong’s Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance (1995).
The report outlines the constitutional and political context, surveillance context, and social attitudes to privacy in Hong Kong, and the extent of constitutional protections and common law protections. The Ordinance and the proposed reforms are then analyzed in detail, identifying in particular weaknesses in the enforcement mechanisms it provides.
The report concludes that the formal structure of Hong Kong’s law relevant to privacy has little that is distinctive of Chinese culture: the common law and the drafting of the Ordinance are little different from what they would be in the UK. The administration of the Ordinance may be another matter. Privacy Commissioners to date have not shown a willingness to take up public causes that would have placed them in direct conflict with the government or private sector interests, but Privacy Commissioners in many jurisdictions have taken much the same approach.
Keywords: Asia, Hong Kong, data privacy, privacy, data protection
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