The purpose of the Ordinance is to protect the privacy interests of living individuals in relation to personal data. It also contributes to Hong Kong’s continued economic well being by safeguarding the free flow of personal data to Hong Kong from restrictions by countries that already have data protection laws.

Scope of Coverage

The Ordinance covers any data relating directly or indirectly to a living individual (data subject), from which it is practicable to ascertain the identity of the individual and which are in a form in which access or processing is practicable. It applies to any person (data user) that controls the collection, holding, processing or use of personal data.

Data Protection Principles (DPP)

Principle 1 (DPP 1) – Purpose and manner of collection . This provides for the lawful and fair collection of personal data and sets out the information a data user must give to a data subject when collecting personal data from that subject.

Principle 2 (DPP 2) – Accuracy and duration of retention . This provides that personal data should be accurate, up-to-date and kept no longer than necessary.

Principle 3 (DPP 3) – Use of personal data . This provides that unless the data subject gives consent otherwise personal data should be used for the purposes for which they were collected or a directly related purpose.

Principle 4 (DPP 4) – Security of personal data . This requires appropriate security measures to be applied to personal data (including data in a form in which access to or processing of the data is not practicable).

Principle 5 (DPP 5) – Information to be generally available . This provides for openness by data users about the kinds of personal data they hold and the main purposes for which personal data are used.

Principle 6 (DPP 6) – Access to personal data . This provides for data subjects to have rights of access to and correction of their personal data.

The Ordinance (full text) can be downloaded from website of “The Office of the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data” at