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Hong Kong: PCPD releases statement on collection of data during quarantine

The Office of the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data ('PCPD') released, on 12 February 2020, a statement ('the Statement') on the collection of data during quarantine and the public interest exemption to restrictions on the use of data. In particular, the PCPD highlighted that data collected by the government of Hong Kong, such as the location of individuals, for the purpose of attesting quarantine conditions, is collected for a lawful purpose and is not excessive. Furthermore, the PCPD noted that the Prevention and Control of Disease Regulation (Cap 599A of the Laws of Hong Kong) gives power to a health officer to subject persons under quarantine or isolation to conditions as the health officer may specify, and their duties include verifying that persons under quarantine remain at their specified locations. 

The PCPD further explained that under Section 59 of the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance 1996 as amended in 2013 (Cap. 486) ('PDPO'), in the interests of the public, restrictions on the use or disclosure of data may receive exemption, such as in relation to the requirement to obtain the consent of the data subject. Lastly, the PCPD stated that the 'right to life' under Article 2 of the Hong Kong Bill of Rights Ordinance, is absolute and supersedes the 'right to privacy', and that governments should take appropriate measures against conditions that give rise to direct threat to life.      

You can read the Statement here