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Asia Pacific Dashboard Digest | Notes from the Asia-Pacific region, 28 May 2021 Related reading: Notes from the Asia-Pacific region, 21 May 2021


Greetings, fellow privacy professionals.

In my last letter, I covered China's upcoming draft law on personal information protection. This week, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data in Hong Kong released highlights of the draft Personal Information Protection Law of China. The summary covers 21 different sections in an easy-to-access table with respective references to the articles in the draft paper. The international business community is carefully watching these changes, and they have already been mentioned as core challenges for overseas firms expanding into the region.

In other developments, the Cyberspace Administration of China, Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, Ministry of Public Security and the State Administration for Market Regulation jointly released the draft Interim Regulations on the Administration of Personal Information Protection for Mobile Internet Applications. Companies operating in China are already gearing up for these changes, and there is growing interest in data privacy professionals to help navigate these waters. Cybersecurity professionals are also needed to implement the necessary security controls.

Hong Kong introduced new legal amendments to outlaw doxxing. Under the proposal, disclosing someone's personal data without their consent and "with an intent to threaten, intimidate or harass" will constitute an offense. The proposed amendments by the PCPD were submitted to the government 17 May. 

In regional news, India asked WhatsApp to withdraw its new privacy policy. While many regions expressed concern, India has more than 500 million users and a strategic base to grow its digital payment offerings, including health insurance via partners and other services. WhatsApp is also a hot topic in Hong Kong. The PCPD is in talks with WhatsApp about this matter and released a statement welcoming the company's acceptance of suggestions to provide alternatives to users who do not accept the updated privacy policy. With more and more time spent on our mobile devices, we will see Big Tech continue to try to build trust with their customer base, and one key way to do this is through transparency.

In my previous letter, I talked about Apple's Nutrition Labels as one of the initiatives in Apple's iOS app store. Earlier this week, Google released new privacy features that focus on ways to protect your information. There is also a growing trend toward a password-less future with Microsoft pushing this initiative. Approximately 200 million Microsoft users adopted password-less authentication. 

In data breach news, one of Air India's data processors was subject to a data breach affecting approximately 4.5 million passengers. You can read more about that below.

Finally, please save some time in your schedule for the upcoming HK KnowledgeNet held 17 June. The focus topic is "China's Personal Information Protection Law and its impact on multinational companies," and we will have a mix of our local HK co-chairs and partners joining us from the Big 4 and a law firm based in China. 

Keep safe; keep secure.


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