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New Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data appointed (with photo)

     The Government announced today (July 24) the appointment of Mr Stephen Wong Kai-yi as the new Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data (Privacy Commissioner) with effect from August 4, 2015.

     The appointment is made by the Chief Executive under section 5 of the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance (PDPO) and is for a term of five years.

     Mr Wong, aged 60 and currently a practicing barrister, was the Secretary to the independent advisory body, Law Reform Commission of Hong Kong (LRC) from 2012 to 2014 before retiring from the civil service. Before serving at the LRC, Mr Wong had served in the Department of Justice (the then Legal Department before 1997) as legal counsel from 1986 to 2007, assuming various posts including Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions and Deputy Solicitor General, and then at the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, first based in Brussels and then Berlin as Director from 2007 to 2012.

     A government spokesman said, "Mr Wong is an expert in human rights law. He was involved in the legislative process of the 1991 Hong Kong Bill of Rights Ordinance, and was subsequently on loan to the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Committee in Geneva as an associate expert. Upon his return to Hong Kong in 1992, he continued to advise and appear in court on human rights issues, as well as leading various delegations reporting to UN human rights treaties monitoring bodies. He has a clear strategic vision of the work of the Office of the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data (PCPD). We are confident that Mr Wong will take the PCPD to new heights.

     "The term of office of the incumbent, Mr Allan Chiang, will expire on August 3, 2015. Mr Chiang has made very important contributions to the protection of personal data privacy during his tenure. Under his leadership, the PCPD made commendable contributions to the review of the PDPO and enactment of legislation involving personal data privacy. He has effectively implemented the amended PDPO which introduced, inter alia, a new regulatory regime for use of personal data in direct marketing. Mr Chiang has also taken the lead to cultivate a privacy-assuring culture in both public and private organisations, and encouraged them to embrace personal data privacy protection as part of their corporate governance. At international fora on privacy protection, Mr Chiang has represented Hong Kong very well and driven co-operation initiatives. We express our heartfelt gratitude for Mr Chiang's service in the past five years."

     An open recruitment exercise was conducted earlier this year to select the new Privacy Commissioner. A Selection Board was appointed to consider the candidates and make recommendations to the Chief Executive. The Selection Board comprised Mr Bernard Chan as chairman, with Ms Teresa Cheng, Dr Carlye Tsui, the Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs and the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development as members. In line with the practice of open recruitment for senior positions, the Government engaged an executive search firm to carry out the recruitment exercise.

Ends/Friday, July 24, 2015

Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data (Designate), Mr Stephen Wong Kai-yi

Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data (Designate), Mr Stephen Wong Kai-yi