The Personal Data Protection Office (GPDP) launched 224 investigations last year, up 44.5 percent year-on-year, GPDP Director Vasco Fong Man Chong said on Thursday, adding that an increase in residents’ awareness of privacy protection was behind the rising number of cases.
Addressing a press conference about the city’s privacy protection statistics for 2016 at his office in China Plaza, Fong, a former anti-graft commissioner and judge, said 65.6 percent of the investigations concerned allegations of “improperly handled” personal data. He also said his office had received 2,137 enquiries last year.
Fong said the reason for the sharp increase in the number of investigations was residents’ rising awareness of privacy protection.
Pointing out that social media have made it easier than before for people to share information with just the click of the mouse, Fong said this was leading many residents to “inadvertently” violate the Personal Data Protection Law.
Fong also said his office might come up with new privacy protection regulations concerning social media. Asked by a reporter as to when the regulations would be set up, Fong said his office did not have a timetable since the government was currently amending many different laws.
However, he added that if the general public thought that new social media regulations should be a priority, his office could speed up the legislative process.