The Personal Data (Privacy) Amendment Bill - A New Landscape for Data Protection in Hong Kong

The Personal Data (Privacy) Amendment Bill (the "Bill") was introduced into the Legislative Council on 13 July 2011. The Bill is the culmination of a consultation process which commenced in 2009 relating to the reform of the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance (the "Ordinance"). The Bill aims to bring the Ordinance in line with technological and other advancements that have occurred since the Ordinance was enacted 15 years ago, and is in part a response to the mounting public concern in relation to a number of high profile instances of misuse of personal data in Hong Kong, including the sale of personal data by Octopus Rewards Limited.

The most significant amendments relate to direct marketing and the sale of personal information, data processing and the powers of the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data (the "Privacy Commissioner"). The Bill also introduces increased penalties for breaches of the Ordinance. These key amendments are discussed below.

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