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Privacy Laws to be Tightened

First published: 19th October 2010

The Hong Kong Government has published its Report on Public Consultation on Review of the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance (PDPO) and launched further public discussions on the legislative proposals to strengthen personal data privacy protection under the PDPO.

The Government claims that most of the proposals are generally supported by the public and plans to draft legislation on 37 proposals in a number of areas, including direct marketing, data security, powers and functions of the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data (PCPD) and offences and sanctions. The publications include the full report, highlights of the report and the public's written submissions. Some of the changes would certainly make data users think twice, such as a proposed maximum fine of HK$1 million and five years' jail for the unauthorised sale of private information, but others are decidedly weak, for example, the introduction of a voluntary personal data security breach notification system. Why would the worst offenders reveal their negligence?

The Privacy Commissioner has expressed disappointment that the Government is pursuing other proposals.

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