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How to Protect Personal Data in Hong Kong

Hong Kong’s economy has long been recognized as a regional financial and trading center, boasting low taxes and transparency levels that contribute to making Hong Kong one of the most competitive economies globally.

Due to this global presence, many global corporations have regional offices or headquarters here – leading to an enormous demand for data center facilities and services. As a result, Hong Kong government aims to offer world-class infrastructure and support services for this industry, so local businesses remain competitive while maintaining Hong Kong as an international technology and business hub.

Hong Kong’s Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data recently issued guidance on cross-border data transfers, with recommended model clauses to be included in contracts governing data transfer agreements. This is an encouraging step toward voluntary compliance, and will enable Hong Kong businesses to evaluate their existing practices with regards to this topic.

Assuming personal data collected in Hong Kong will be transferred outside of Hong Kong, one way of determining whether a contract falls under PDPO’s data transfer provisions is to examine whether its collection and transfer conform with each of PDPO’s six Data Protection Principles (DPPs). If that is indeed the case, review should take place to ensure compliance.

If an assessment reveals that the laws and practices of an exporting jurisdiction do not conform with DPPs, data exporters should identify and adopt additional measures in order to meet required protection levels. These may include technical measures such as encryption, anonymisation or pseudonymisation as well as contractual provisions imposing obligations on audit, inspection and reporting along with beach notifications as well as compliance support and co-operation measures.

Tech Data Distribution (Hong Kong) Limited, a TD SYNNEX company, is an award-winning IT distributor and solutions aggregator providing customers with access to over 1,500 of the industry’s best technology vendors and solutions for compelling IT products, services and solutions that help maximize ROI of IT investments, show results of business outcomes and take advantage of growth opportunities.

Hong Kong has long been recognized as a reliable platform for international data exchange, offering a strong legal framework with safeguards to protect personal information breaches. Furthermore, its government is dedicated to cultivating an open and inclusive economic environment which fosters innovation while safeguarding personal privacy.

Hong Kong, with an estimated population of over seven million people, is one of the world’s densest cities and maintaining adequate and efficient data centre infrastructure is vital to maintaining economic strength and global competitiveness. Industry must collaborate closely with local government authorities in creating a holistic data centre ecosystem which delivers high quality service at lower costs; to this end, policy planning efforts and industry advocacy activities need to be coordinated seamlessly by both sides. To promote and enhance data industry initiatives.

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