Survey shows people value their privacy, says Margaret Ng Legislator Ronny Tong Ka-wah, an outspoken critic of the covert surveillance bill, said the results of the SCMP/TNS opinion leaders survey vindicated pro-democracy lawmakers' calls for the law to include procedural safeguards and a broad notification system. 'I certainly hope the government will sit up and listen,' he said. 'If you've got the movers and shakers of the community feeling uncomfortable with a law like this, it is time for the government to give them a better deal.' Mr Tong said the bill, which the government must have enacted by August before a court-imposed deadline expires, should come with a sunset clause. The government and lawmakers could then work on refining it further. But the Security Bureau has refused to do so, with time running out to pass the bill by August 8. The bills committee has completed its clause-by-clause examination of the Interception of Communication and Surveillance Bill but it is still considering more than 100 pages of proposed amendments and government responses to issues raised by lawmakers. To have ensured the bill passed by July 12, when Legco goes into summer recess, the committee would have had to finish its discussions by last Tuesday. Legislators have now agreed to call for a special session on August 2 to pass the bill. Margaret Ng Ngoi-yee, who represents the legal sector in Legco, said yesterday the results showed people valued their privacy and linked it with freedom of expression. 'It shows it is clearly a sensitive matter to enact something like this. You need to give the public a chance to know where their rights would lie and how these would be compromised by the law, what safeguards there are and whether they are satisfied,' she said. Thirty-one per cent of respondents said they valued privacy over social order, while 56 per cent ranked them of equal importance. 'You don't see people saying they are prepared to sacrifice their privacy for social order,' she said. But Lau Kong-wah, of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, said respondents' rating of privacy and social order was reflected in the bill. 'They rate both privacy and social order as having the same importance - that is the purpose of members in Legco dealing with the bill,' Mr Lau said. 'We hope there will be a balance between the two. 'On the notification system for people wrongfully targeted, the government has already proposed amendments and we accept them. It is understandable that some people would be worried [about abuse], but when we are dealing with the bill, we will balance these concerns.' A spokesman for the Security Bureau said: 'We believe that the bill has struck an appropriate balance between the two important elements of public interests - the need to protect the right to privacy of communication - and the need to combat crime and protect public security, with stringent safeguards proposed for different stages of the process.'