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Employers’ Duties Under the Hong Kong National Security Law from a Data Privacy Perspective

Effective June 30, 2020, the Law of the People’s Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (the ‘NSL’), has raised data privacy concerns for businesses operating in the city. Article 43 out of 66 has attracted a lot of attention due to the wide-ranging powers it provides to the Hong Kong police force. For instance, an officer may apply to a magistrate for a warrant to enter and search a place (including an office) and electronic devices for evidence relating to an alleged offense under the NSL and, in exceptional circumstances, if the police officer is not below the rank of Assistant Commissioner of Police, may authorize his or her officers to carry out the search without a warrant. Many employers are wondering whether their obligations to comply with police requests under the NSL are compatible or in conflict with their obligations regarding employees’ personal data under Hong Kong’s Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance (PDPO). Employers should seek legal counsel when faced with a police request or search, should consider reviewing their personal information collection statements and data privacy notices, and should ensure that their management, HR, and communications teams are trained on the NSL.

 

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Posted Under: Hong Kong, International

Post By Ken Shafton (848 Posts)