Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of China has emerged as a world leader in digital economy. Both its government and businesses have invested considerable resources into building an outstanding data infrastructure that has accelerated fintech solutions development; further serving as an example to other regions around the globe.
The PDPO provides data subjects with several rights and data controllers with certain obligations, and is grounded on six data protection principles that regulate collection, processing, holding, use and dissemination of personal information without prior consent (known colloquially as “doxxing”). It came into force on 20 December 1996 and has been significantly amended since.
While it may appear straightforward that data users must abide by the PDPO, there are subtleties they should keep in mind when doing so. For example, what constitutes personal data under this legislation may not always be clear-cut; typically though it refers to any information relating directly or indirectly to an individual that makes identification possible. Furthermore, data users must expressly inform individuals prior to collecting their personal data of its purpose as well as any classes of individuals to which it may be shared or transferred.
The PDPO prohibits illegal interference with privacy as well as any unauthorized attacks on an individual’s honor and reputation, such as disclosing private information to third parties without their authorization, or publishing or making available his/her works online without authorization.
Furthermore, the PDPO prohibits data transfers to countries without adequate data protection laws, meaning personal information collected in Hong Kong cannot be exported to those without data protection laws applicable under PDPO.
Not only will the PDPO facilitate cross-border transactions, it will also serve as a central point for banks and commercial data sources – which will reduce costs and enhance efficiency while simultaneously strengthening financial intermediation and encouraging financial inclusion within Hong Kong SAR.
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