Intrusion fears unresolved

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 01 February, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 01 February, 2007, 12:00am

The review of the privacy law was conducted by the Law Reform Commission between 1989 and 2006. A subcommittee looked into five areas: protection of personal data, interception of communications, stalking, civil liability in invasion of privacy, and media intrusion of privacy.

While the government has largely adopted its proposals in the first two areas, there was resistance to the other recommendations.

John Bacon-Shone, who headed the subcommittee, said Britain had been more successful in protecting people against media intrusion. He said the British government threatened to set up a statutory body to handle the problem if media organisations did not put their house in order. This resulted in all newspapers and magazines joining a press council to monitor the industry.

In Hong Kong, however, many news organisations - especially entertainment magazines and tabloids - had not joined the Press Council.

Professor Bacon-Shone believed the problem of privacy intrusion for people who were not in the public eye was more serious than that suffered by celebrities.

Among all the areas of concern, he was most worried about the lack of legislation against stalking.

'I know there are people whose lives have been made miserable and who were forced to leave Hong Kong because there is no protection against stalking,' he said.