The Right to Privacy in Hong Kong

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The right to privacy in Hong Kong

The definition of privacy refers to one’s freedom of thought and expression, the right of private property and also protects their personal information. According to the article of the right to privacy (1890) written by Warren and Brandeis, privacy is the right to be let alone and believe it is the right inviolate of personality. Therefore, there are some ordinances in Hong Kong’s common law and the Hong Kong bill of right are used to protect the citizen’s right of privacy. The protection mainly reflects in the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance which included the data protection principles.

However, the changes made by the government of the restriction on public access to company information in The New Companies Ordinance which passed by Legislative Council on 12th July 2012 and to become effective in 2014, had become the most controversial issue. Company Registry, the responsible department of the government, claims that the aim of the government to rewrite the companies’ ordinance is for the modernization of Hong Kong's company law and the further enhancement of Hong Kong's status as a major international commerce and economic centre. However, someone fears that businesses could harbor corruption under the law and question about the necessity of this amendment. Although the change might reduce the risk of distress and harm and maintain the protection of the privacy of company directors, implement the change will increase the difficulties in verification of the identity of the directors, damage the freedom of the press, information and weaken the citizen’s ability to protect their rights. Both sides will be examined in detail by considering the bills of privacy right, The Harm Principle and the view points in Utilitarianism and Paternalism.

Due to the change of the restriction on public access to company information, the public cannot see the details of corporate directors anymore which include their ID numbers and...
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