Data Privacy and Data Governance in Hong Kong

data hk

Hong Kong’s government may soon amend the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance (“PDPO”) to provide individuals with additional protections and increase compliance measures for businesses who collect and process personal data. Should the definition of personal data expand to include information that identifies an individual, businesses who collect or process such data will need to adhere to all provisions in PDPO including consent requirements, data quality/accuracy considerations and purpose limitation provisions.

Although many data privacy laws include extra-territorial application provisions, the PDPO lacks such provisions and only applies when a data user controls collection, holding, processing or use of personal data in Hong Kong – although its definition of control doesn’t exclude instances in which data cycles originate in another jurisdiction but actually collect/store/process takes place there.

As this can create confusion over how the PDPO applies to foreign data transfers, Padraig Walsh, who heads our Data Privacy practice explains it is vitally important that people understand how the PDPO interprets key concepts such as control and use.

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As part of data governance programs, it’s crucial to identify and manage stakeholders with competing interests. A responsibility assignment matrix like RACI (responsible, accountable, consulted and informed) can help organize stakeholder input and approvals; this ensures all parties understand their individual responsibilities for the project.

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