Articles: Privacy

Facebook, Big Brother and China
The political and media furore over external use of Facebook data misses the point. Facebook, Google and other internet giants know far more about their users than any app developer ever will. Facebook offers its own political ad-targeting service based on its analysis of users' data, just part of its over US$40bn of annual monetisation of users through advertising. It's a price that users appear willing to pay for the services, but in authoritarian states like China, with it's pending "Social Credit System" that poses a far bigger threat to society. (23-Mar-2018)
Man convicted of theft in 1976 cleared after Googling his arresting officer
Guardian, 18-Jan-2018
A good demonstration that the European Court of Justice's "right to be forgotten" is wrong. Mr Simmons found that 5 years after his wrongful 1975 conviction, the arresting officer was jailed for similar offences. The bent cop died in jail in 1982, but had he survived, he could have required Google to take down all references to his conviction and Mr Simmons would never have been exonerated.
Sham Wing Kan v Commissioner of Police
HK Court of First Instance, 27-Oct-2017
The court rules that the content of an arrested person's mobile phone or similar device can be subject to a warrantless search but only in exigent circumstances.
Y v Law Society of HK
HK Court of First Instance, 28-Apr-2017
This judgment begs a question: if the Law Society cannot put on a list (for members only) the name of a person with convictions involving dishonesty unless he actually applies for a job in a law firm, then law firms cannot use that list to vet applicants - and anyway, if the person's convictions are in media reports which the law firm can find on the web, then why bother with a list at all?
Journalists must fight Companies House proposal to delete records
Guardian, 3-Aug-2016
Companies House proposal to wipe data on dissolved firms sooner decried
Guardian, 2-Aug-2016
Man loses 'right to be forgotten' Google court bid
BBC, 30-Jul-2015
Freedom of Speech v Privacy - can public domain information be private?
These are the slides of a presentation by Webb-site founder David Webb to a Year 12 (Form 6) school class today. (25-Nov-2014)
Magazines dispute privacy orders over nude and intimate photos of TVB stars
South China Morning Post, 19-Mar-2014
Face Magazine Ltd v PCPD
HK Administrative Appeals Board, 6-Jan-2014
The AAB upholds the decision of the Privacy Commissioner in the complaints of actors Wong Ho (aka Vincent Wong Ho Shun) and Yoyo Chen Chi Yiu against the magazine, which had published intimate pictures of them in their home, taken with a telephoto lens from a hillside footpath which was not open to the public. The personal data (the photos) had been collected by unfair means, contravening Data Protection Principle 1(2).
Sudden Weekly Ltd v PCPD
HK Administrative Appeals Board, 6-Jan-2014
The AAB upholds the decision of the Privacy Commissioner in the complaint of actor Bosco Wong Chung Chak Wong Ho against the magazine, which published pictures of him and Myolie Wu Hang Yee in his home, taken with a telephoto lens from about 1000 metres away. The personal data (the photos) had been collected by unfair means, contravening Data Protection Principle 1(2). The AAB decision is brief, because it directly follows decision in Face Magazine AAB5/2012, handed down on the same day.
Investigation Report: Unfair Collection of Two Artistes' Personal Data by Face Magazine Ltd
HK Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data, 28-Mar-2012
Investigation Report: Unfair Collection of an Artiste's Personal Data by Sudden Weekly Ltd
HK Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data, 28-Mar-2012
Eastweek Publisher Ltd & Eastweek Ltd v PCPD: costs
HK Court of Appeal, 16-May-2000
Eastweek Publisher Ltd & Eastweek Ltd v PCPD
HK Court of Appeal, 28-Mar-2000
The Court of Appeal quashes the Enforcement Notice, pointing out that photographs taken and published of people whom the publisher does not identify (or even know the identity of) are not "personal data" within the meaning of the PDPO. The fact that people who already know the person can recognise them in the photos does not mean that the publisher has identified them; the reader has.

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