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Hong Kong  - Office of the Telecommunications Authority (OFTA)

At present there is no law to prohibit the sending of spam. The use of personal data for sending out e-mail spam for direct marketing purposes might be regulated by section 34 of the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance. This requires that the sender should provide the recipient with an "opt-out" choice of not receiving further marketing e-mails. 

Drawing on the views expressed to the earlier consultation issued by the Office of the Telecommunications Authority (OFTA) seeking public opinion on the issue and the trend on recent developments, the Government has launched the "STEPS" campaign to contain the problem of spamming. STEPS stands for “ Strengthening existing regulatory measures, Technical solutions, Education, Partnerships, Statutory measures.The government is conducting intensive consultation on the technical details of legislative measures of tackling spam.

The Government encourages the Internet industry to exercise self-regulation in tackling spamming activities. Almost all ISPs in Hong Kong have included terms in their contracts of service to prohibit subscribers from using the ISPs' services for spamming activities. Depending on the policy of individual ISPs, a spammer will be warned or will have the service suspended or terminated immediately without warning. 

 

Competent authority Office of the Telecommunications Authority (OFTA)
Office of the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data
Contact person 
Office of Telecommunications Authority  
E-mail: consumer@ofta.gov.hk 
Postal address: 29/F Wu Chung House, 213 Queen's Road, 
Wanchai, Hong Kong
Telephone number (852) 2961 6333
Fax (852) 2803 5110

Enquiries on compliance issues in relation to the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance may be made to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data
Email: pco@pco.org.hk
Postal address Unit 2001, 20/F, Office Tower, 
Convention Plaza, 1 Harbour Road, 
Wanchai, Hong Kong
Telephone number (852) 2827 2827
Fax: (852) 2877 7026

Relevant legislation in place Laws: 
  • Section 34 of the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance (hereafter called "the Ordinance") stipulates that "A data user who uses the data for direct marketing purposes, including the advertising of the availability of goods, facilities or services by means of information sent by electronic mail, shall

(a)    the first time he so uses those data, inform the data subject that the data user is required, without charge to the data subject, to cease to so use those data if the data subject so requests;

(b)    if the data subject so requests, cease to so use those data without charge to the data subject."

Nevertheless, according to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data (PCO), the above provision can only be used against junk e-mail message directed at a particular person. It cannot apply to the most common situation where junk e-mail message is not targeted at a specific person.   

 

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Updated : 2011-04-04