On January 25, 2013 the Hong Kong Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data published its “New Guidance on Direct Marketing” to help organizations comply with the direct marketing provisions of the Personal Data Amendment Ordinance. The “Amendment Ordinance” was passed on June 27, 2012; while most of its provisions have already been implemented, the provisions relating to direct marketing are set to come into effect on April 1, 2013.
Click here for the full Hogan Lovells news flash highlighting the major recommendations set out in the Guidance Note, and discussing the implications for organizations that conduct direct marketing in Hong Kong.
To a large extent the Guidance Note follows the recommendations contained in the Direct Marketing Guidance Note issued by the Commissioner in 2010 (and revised in 2012). There are a number of important differences, the most significant of which relate to the consent and notification requirements under the new direct marketing provisions. The Amendment Ordinance requires organizations that collect personal data (“data users”) to communicate to individuals from whom they collect such data (“data subjects”) certain information together with an opt-out facility before they use such data for direct marketing. Further, in a change which is set to affect the data collection practices of many data users in Hong Kong, the Guidance Note makes it clear that consent must be explicit and cannot be inferred from silence or inaction on the part of the data subject.