The Privacy Commissioner has raised serious doubts about the legality of the government's planned drug-testing programme in schools in a letter to Secretary for Education Michael Suen Ming-yeung. Commissioner Roderick Woo Bun said in his letter yesterday that under Hong Kong law, students' parents or guardians had no authority to consent to testing - in this case of urine samples taken from students - on behalf of a minor. He suggested the issue might only be resolved by a change in the law. Mr Woo wrote: 'While it is doubtful whether all students have the requisite capacity to give genuine consent, it is to be noted that no substitute consent is recognised under the [Personal Data (Privacy)] Ordinance. That being the case, a parent or guardian is not capable of giving a consent on behalf of a minor under the ordinance. It is my view that the quandary may need to be resolved by legislation.' While Mr Woo cannot himself legally challenge the drug-testing plan, his comments could pave the way for such a challenge from other quarters. One Hong Kong student, Timothy Lee of Shatin Pui Ying College, has already canvassed the issue with a posting on a Facebook site that states: '[I] suggest filing a judicial review against the scheme.' The trial drug-testing scheme is scheduled to be launched in Tai Po in December. Under the preliminary proposal, only parental consent is needed for pupils under the age of 18. Consent forms were to be distributed to parents and students for signing. Mr Woo also said that an individual could be asked to provide a urine sample when there was reasonable suspicion of a commission of a serious arrestable offence. Under Section 54AA of the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance, 'appropriate consent in relation to a person under 18 years means the consent of both that person and his parent or guardian', he said. 'It is not immediately clear to me the reason the scheme adopts a lower threshold and considers that only the consent of the parent or guardian will suffice,' he said in the letter. Mr Woo also said drug-test results and reports were medical data which were sensitive personal information. 'I am therefore concerned to see that they will be collected and handled in compliance with the requirement of the ordinance,' he said. Meanwhile, Undersecretary for Education Kenneth Chen Wei-on said he was willing to be tested for drugs as a gesture of support to students who joined the scheme. 'If students think this is a way ... I can personally show my support to them ... certainly I am willing to do the test,' Mr Chen said on an RTHK radio programme yesterday, adding that he was willing to pay for the test as well. His pledge did not impress several Tai Po students who also spoke on the radio programme. One, Yo Yo Chong Chung-yiu, who is vice-chairman of the Concern Group on Tai Po School Drug Test Trial Scheme, said students who had no intention of being tested were unlikely to do it, even if 'some grown-up has taken the test'. Student Ben Chu Shing-pan said: 'So many things are not clear about the scheme. I am worried the atmosphere in schools will be very tense, as students may be summoned to do drug tests at any time.'