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The PDPO requires that persons who process personal data must implement measures to protect it from unauthorised access, processing or disclosure. These measures include the requirement to obtain consent from the individual for the collection of their personal data. They must ensure that the information they hold is accurate, and that it is not retained for longer than necessary. They must also put in place procedures to identify and manage any risks associated with the processing of personal data, and take steps to minimise these risks. Finally, they must have a clear written policy setting out how they will use the personal information they collect.
When a data transfer takes place, the person who is collecting the information must notify the Commissioner for Personal Data of any transfers. This is important because it ensures that the Commissioner is aware of any potential breach of the PDPO by the person who is receiving the information. It also allows the Commissioner to investigate the matter further if required.
Among the most common questions asked about the PDPO is how it applies to data transfers outside of Hong Kong. The answer is that it applies in the same way as it does to transfers within Hong Kong. However, there are some differences in the application of the law. In addition, some aspects of the PDPO do not apply to transfers to or from overseas territories.
The PDPO also includes an exemption from the obligation to provide a PICS if the information transferred is not personal data. However, this exemption is only available if the transfer is not carried out for the purpose of a marketing or research activity.
For those who want to learn more about the PDPO and its implications for data transfers, there are a number of resources available. These include training courses and publications on the topic. In addition, the Commissioner’s Office has a helpline available for people who have any questions about the PDPO. The helpline is open from 9:00 to 17:00 daily (excluding public holidays). This service is free of charge.