Personal Data Protection in Hong Kong

Information containing personal data of individuals can be collected and used for various purposes by organizations, including direct marketing, credit scoring and research. Most information provided with your consent or otherwise legitimately acquired will likely be used this way; if this does not agree with you it’s important that if opt out. You can register with the Hong Kong Media Academy’s Do Not Call Registry or visit their website and click on their ‘Opt Out’ button in order to do so.

Hong Kong personal data is safeguarded under the Personal Data Protection Ordinance (PDPO), which defines personal information as any data pertaining to an identifiable individual, such as direct contact or indirect identification through other data. Other laws, such as Personal Information Protection Act in mainland China or General Data Protection Regulation in Europe also encompass an expansive definition of personal data.

The Personal Data (Privacy and Protection) Ordinance is one of the world’s most comprehensive privacy laws, designed to protect individual interests. But even this comprehensive framework has its limits; thus the government is periodically revising it to accommodate new technological advancements. As one example, they are considering broadening the definition of personal data to encompass any information which could reasonably link to an individual. Such changes would permit more data to be classified as personal information – something which could have significant ramifications on Hong Kong citizens’ privacy.

Hong Kong Monetary Authority’s (HKMA) Common Data Model initiative should take data sharing between Hong Kong and mainland China to a new level. Banks and commercial data sources will connect through one single connection, making it easier for financial institutions to access data they require for product and service innovation – part of their Fintech 2025 Strategy.

This move aims to speed up financial intermediation and expand financial inclusion across Hong Kong, while opening up more applications ranging from real-time payment systems to smart contracts. The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) has already implemented CDI pilot projects and plans to roll it out across banking systems over five years, gradually. They have collaborated with Chinese Academy of Sciences on designing technology needed for this initiative. The system will be more cost-efficient and secure than existing technologies, serving as the basis for a wider array of financial solutions. Furthermore, financial firms will be able to share and analyze data more systematically; this will allow them to design more innovative financial products/services while improving customer service.