Hong Kong Data Privacy 2015: Cautious Enforcement, Strong Principles

(2015) 138 Privacy Laws & Business International Report, 21-23

UNSW Law Research Paper No. 2016-11

5 Pages Posted: 19 Feb 2016 Last revised: 25 Feb 2016

Graham Greenleaf

University of New South Wales, Faculty of Law

Date Written: December 1, 2015

Abstract

For seventeen years, Hong Kong’s 1995 Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance, the first comprehensive data privacy law in Asia, remained without substantial amendments. The Amendment Bill of 2012, in force since April 2013, involved fewer changes than were recommended by Hong Kong’s Privacy Commissioner, but were nevertheless a significant strengthening of the Ordinance.

Two and half years later, the stronger enforcement regime is still only being applied cautiously. However, the Commissioner and the tribunal administering the Ordinance have both given its substantive principles increasingly strong interpretations.

This article reviews these developments. Aspects covered include the first direct marketing fines, the first jail sentence, the appeal decision upholding coverage of publicly available information, decisions concerning collection by unfair means and limits on excessive collection, and legislation on third party rights under contracts.

Keywords: Hong Kong, China, privacy, data protection, enforcement, direct marketing

Suggested Citation

Greenleaf, Graham, Hong Kong Data Privacy 2015: Cautious Enforcement, Strong Principles (December 1, 2015). (2015) 138 Privacy Laws & Business International Report, 21-23; UNSW Law Research Paper No. 2016-11. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2733882

Graham Greenleaf (Contact Author)

University of New South Wales, Faculty of Law ( email )

Sydney, New South Wales 2052
Australia
+61 2 9385 2233 (Phone)
+61 2 9385 1175 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www2.austlii.edu.au/~graham

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