Data Protection Ordinance and Prepaid SIM Cards

Data hk is an initiative by the Hong Kong government to enhance competitiveness of local IT industry, foster innovation and create jobs through data centre operations in Hong Kong. It provides strategic advantages, availability of sites and government support to operators looking to open operations here.

Hong Kong’s Personal Data Protection Ordinance (PDPO) establishes data subject rights and specific obligations on data controllers, as well as regulating collection, processing, holding and use of personal data through six principles of data protection. Furthermore, certain activities like unsolicited direct marketing and sharing personal information without consent are forbidden by this legislation.

At present, the Personal Data Protection Ordinance does not contain any explicit provisions granting extra-territorial application; nevertheless, its provisions still apply when processing personal data in or from Hong Kong irrespective of where data processing takes place. It is therefore essential for businesses to understand how the PDPO applies and be mindful of potential risks in handling personal data processing operations.

The PDPO defines personal data as any information which can be used to directly or indirectly identify an individual and is readily accessed and processed by authorized personnel. Furthermore, according to law a person’s name and HKID number should not be publicly displayed together or made accessible other than where necessary for its intended use (i.e. when collecting).

PDPO requires businesses, with few exemptions, to implement policies and procedures to protect personal data against unauthorised access, disclosure, modification, erasure or destruction. Furthermore, businesses must also ensure any third parties they engage comply with its requirements.

SmarTone provides 3G and 4G prepaid SIM cards with various roaming data allowances, such as their HK$ 98 starter card which offers one day of roaming in mainland China and Macau separately from local Hong Kong data allowance, which is lower. They also offer add-ons that give 5GB worth of data usage over 30 days for US, Australia or Canada at HK$ 228 each month.