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Consultation Document on Review of Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance published (with photos/videos)

     The Government today (August 28) published the Consultation Document on Review of the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance to invite public views on the proposals to amend the Ordinance.

     The consultation period will end on November 30, 2009.

     The Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance (PDPO) (Cap. 486) has been in force since 1996. The Government, with the support of the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data (PCPD), has conducted a comprehensive review of the PDPO to examine whether its existing provisions still afford adequate protection to personal data having regard to developments, including advancement in technology, over the last decade or so.

     "A considerable number of the proposals will impact on various sectors of the community, public and private organisations as well as members of the public," said the spokesman.

     "We have an open mind on the proposals and welcome public views in this regard."

     Following this round of public consultation, the Government will consolidate the views received. When there are general directions on the way forward, the Government will arrange for further public discussions on possible legislative proposals.

     In conducting the review, the Government is guided by the following principles:

(a) the right of individuals to privacy is not absolute. It must be balanced against other rights and public and social interests;

(b) balance is needed between safeguarding personal data privacy and facilitating continued development of information and communications technology;

(c) any changes to the privacy law should not undermine Hong Kongˇ¦s competitiveness and economic efficiency as an international city;

(d) the need to avoid putting onerous burden on business operations and individual data users;

(e) due account should be given to local situations;

(f) the PDPO should remain flexible and relevant in spite of technological change;

(g) legislative intervention may not always be the most effective way. In certain circumstances, personal data privacy protection may be achieved by administrative measures; and

(h) consensus in the community about the privacy issues is important.

     In the review, the Government has studied 12 major proposals, concerning sensitive personal data, data security, enforcement powers of the PCPD, and offences and sanctions. There are 15 other proposals which have considerable impact on the community and on which the Government invites public comments. In addition, there are 16 miscellaneous proposals which include mainly amendments to streamline the operation of the PDPO and address technical and operational problems encountered in the implementation of the PDPO. The Consultation Document also contains nine proposals which the Government has considered but is inclined not to pursue.

     The Consultation Document can be obtained later today from District Offices or be downloaded from the website of the Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Bureau at

     Members of the public may submit views by post (to Team 4, Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Bureau, Room 364, East Wing, Central Government Offices, Lower Albert Road, Hong Kong), facsimile (at 2523 0565) or email (at on or before November 30, 2009.

Ends/Friday, August 28, 2009
Issued at HKT 19:45


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