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Consumer Privacy

Why is privacy an important issue in the information age? Financial institutions share information for many reasons: to offer you more services, to introduce new products and to create new business opportunities with the information they have about you. In Hong Kong, consumers have the right to tell marketers to stop.

Use of Personal Data for Direct Marketing in Hong Kong
The Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance was amended in 2012 to give Hong Kong consumers a greater say in how their personal data such as phone numbers, addresses and income details may be used by marketers. Any organization that wishes to use an individual's personal data for marketing purposes must seek prior consent from that person.

When deciding whether to grant consent to a marketer, consumers should study that organization's policies on the use of personal data, which may be provided in the form of a Personal Information Collection Statement (PICS). The document will include the following information:

  • The types of personal data collected by the organization
  • The types of products and services intended to be marketed by the organization
  • Whether the personal data will be shared with another organization

An organization that intends to use your personal data for its own marketing purposes can seek your consent orally or in writing. If an organization intends to share your personal data with another company, it must consult you in writing.

"Opt Out"
Under the amended Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance, consumers are entitled to "opt out," or indicate to a marketer that they do not want their personal data to be used. The opt-out right supersedes any prior consent a consumer may have previously provided to the marketer. For more details about the Ordinance's provisions on marketing, click here.

Source: Office of the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data