Privacy Law

Watchdog chief slams shelving of privacy law

Privacy commissioner Allan Chiang Yam-wang. Photo: Sam Tsang

Privacy commissioner Allan Chiang Yam-wang has expressed his disappointment in the government's decision to shelve a controversial law restricting public access to company directors' personal information.

Wednesday, 3 April, 2013, 4:22am 1 comment

David Webb takes database with directors' ID numbers offline

David Webb

Corporate governance advocate David Webb last night withdrew his short-lived database listing identity card numbers of 1,100 company directors, just hours after the privacy watchdog launched an investigation. Webb's "indefinite suspension" of his index came as a former Companies Registry chief joined local professionals in condemning the government's proposal to hide directors' personal information in the registry, currently open to all. 

16 Feb 2013 - 3:46am 1 comment

Michael Wolf photo exhibit may breach privacy law, expert warns

In a posed picture, a person points to a website that features examples from photographer Michael Wolf’s “Window Watching” series.

Legal concerns have been raised that award-winning German photographer Michael Wolf violated the privacy of Hong Kong residents with his new series, "Window Watching", in which he used a telephoto zoom lens to photograph people through their high-rise apartment windows.

18 Jan 2013 - 9:58am

Ex-nurse wants to take hospital to court over film of her asleep on duty

A former St Paul's Hospital employee has applied for permission to take her former employer to court for intruding on her privacy, after she was filmed sleeping at her workplace.

Chan Hui May-kiu has already complained, without success, to the privacy commissioner and an appeals board.

6 Oct 2012 - 3:11am 1 comment

Fear privacy law delay will be abused

The privacy watchdog has expressed concerns that a 10-month grace period the banking industry is seeking to prepare for tighter laws on direct sales tactics will be exploited.

Privacy Commissioner Allan Chiang Yam-wang agreed a grace period was necessary to help the industry take steps for an amended privacy law.

27 Apr 2012 - 12:00am

Media must respect right to privacy

Striking a balance between freedom of the press and the right to privacy is a notion universally accepted. But the experience in Hong Kong shows this is easier said than done. Keen competition often pushes tabloid-style papers and magazines to extremes when reporting on the private lives of celebrities, sometimes at the expense of media ethics and what is allowed by law.

2 Apr 2012 - 12:00am

Privacy is for everyone, rich and poor

There has been a lot of news about the unauthorised building work on a senior official's home recently. But I am more concerned by the 10 cranes outside his house. I'm not going to discuss whether he was right or wrong, but the techniques of the reporters.

7 Mar 2012 - 12:00am

Tightening of law on sale of personal data 'falls short'

A proposed revision of the privacy law fails to meet public expectations, according to the Privacy Commissioner and a lawmaker.

The government moved to tighten the law after last year's Octopus Card controversy, when the card firm admitted selling the personal details of more than a million customers to business partners.

9 Nov 2011 - 12:00am

Privacy right calls for careful balance

It is as if the Octopus Card scandal last year never happened. Octopus owned up to selling the personal details of more than a million customers to business partners and tried to make amends by donating the HK$44 million profit to charity.

23 Jun 2011 - 12:00am

HK$250,000 PR deal sparks anger with watchdog

Privacy Commissioner Allan Chiang Yam-wang is under fire for spending up to HK$250,000 to hire a public relations firm three months after taking office.

The unusual move of hiring a PR firm surprised many of the groups and lawmakers approached by the firm in the past month.

15 Dec 2010 - 12:00am

Under review

Existing criminal offences under the privacy law

1. Continued use of personal data for direct marketing after a request by the person concerned for it not to be used

2. Failure to comply with a person's request to access his or her own personal data

3. Failure to comply with an enforcement notice issued by the privacy commissioner

17 Nov 2010 - 12:00am

Care is the key word on data protection

The revelation that various companies in a number of industries have been sharing and selling personal data might well lead the government to propose making such unauthorised activities an offence. It is reviewing the law.

20 Aug 2010 - 12:00am

Follow data lead, privacy watchdog urges

The privacy commissioner wants the telecommunications and insurance watchdogs to follow the lead of the banking regulator and review the use of customers' personal data.

14 Aug 2010 - 12:00am

Make illegal sale of data an offence, privacy chief says

The Privacy Commissioner has urged the government to give serious consideration to making unauthorised sales of personal data a criminal offence.

Roderick Woo Bun, who is investigating the HK$44 million sale of the details of 1.9 million Octopus Card holders, said it should do this as part of a review of the privacy law, which is now under way.

29 Jul 2010 - 12:00am

Privacy complaints up as 'awareness rises'

The privacy watchdog has seen a 25 per cent increase in complaints in the first 11 months of the year, but about 40 per cent of the cases could not be substantiated due to lack of evidence.

30 Dec 2009 - 12:00am

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