How amendments to Hong Kong’s privacy legislation affect direct marketing activities

17 July 2012

On 27 June 2012, the Legislative Council of Hong Kong passed the most extensive set of amendments to the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance since the legislation was introduced in 1996.

The Personal Data (Privacy) Amendment Ordinance changes the requirements for those who collect personal data, when using that data for direct marketing activities, or when providing personal data to others to use for direct marketing activities. Significantly, the Amendment Ordinance now requires upfront consent (or ‘opt-in’) from data subjects prior to the use of their data for direct marketing.

The major part of the Amendment Ordinance is due to take effect on 1 October 2012, although the commencement date for the direct marketing provisions (among others) is yet to be announced.

In this update we review the Amendment Ordinance in detail, including:

  • specific requirements for direct marketing activities
  • provision of personal data for use in direct marketing activities
  • use of data processors
  • the legal assistance function, which is unique in data privacy legal frameworks, and
  • additional exemptions.

Read this Update.

Author(s) Geraldine Johns-Putra