Regulate Person-to-Person Telemarketing Calls

MR CHAN KIN-POR (in Cantonese): At present, the most serious problem is that the sale of the lists of telephone numbers is rampant, causing unnecessary nuisance to members of the public. What will the Government do to clamp down on such activities, including the sale of the lists of telephone numbers on the Internet?

SECRETARY FOR COMMERCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (in Cantonese): President, specific provisions on regulating the collection of such data are already found in the existing UEMO. Sections 15, 16 and 17 of the UEMO, which deal with address-harvesting software and harvested-address lists, provide that it is in the first place an offence to supply, use or acquire such softwares or lists. It can thus be said that there is already regulation in this aspect under the UEMO. As for data privacy, the first and third principles on the collection of personal data as set out in the PDPO provide that: The first principle provides that before collecting the data, the data user must inform the data subject of the purpose for which the data are to be used. The third principle provides that there must be the prescribed consent of the data subject in case there is any change to the original purpose of data collection. Any sale of personal data which is not part of the original purpose of data collection shall constitute a contravention of the third Data Protection Principle under the PDPO, which is punishable on conviction by a maximum fine of $50,000 at level 5 or by imprisonment for two years and, in the case of a continuing offence, by a daily penalty of $1,000.

MR CHAN KIN-POR (in Cantonese): The Secretary has not answered whether the Government will take the initiative to launch “undercover” operations to combat such rampant sales on the Internet.

SECRETARY FOR COMMERCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT (in Cantonese): President, this is the work of law-enforcement agencies. I do not have any information on this at hand. But I believe that there have been effective enforcement actions and operations against such activities on the basis of the relevant provisions of the two ordinances.

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