30 March 2016
Bloomberg BNA’s World Data Protection Report re-publishes article by Gabriela Kennedy and Karen H.F. Lee on David Webb involving the re-use of personal data collected from the public domain.
Gabriela Kennedy and Karen H.F. Lee take a look at the decision made by The Administrative Appeals Board (AAB) on 27 October 2015, rejecting an appeal filed by activist David Webb (Webb) against an enforcement notice issued by the Hong Kong Privacy Commissioner (PC) requiring that Webb remove certain hyperlinks from his website which de-anonymised data. The case re-opens the debate on the scope of restrictions on using publicly available data under the Personal Data (Protection) Ordinance (Cap. 486)(PDPO). The decision issued by both the PC and the AAB is consistent with the position taken so far by the regulators concerning the nature of public data - simply because personal data is publicly available, does not mean it can be re-used for new purposes.