The Data User Return Scheme for personal data (DURS), which was due to be implemented by the Privacy Commissioner in Hong Kong during 2012, has now been put on hold.

The Privacy Commissioner reported to the Legislative Council Panel on 21 January 2013 in relation to the progress of DURS. The Privacy Commissioner noted that, given recent developments and reforms in Europe regarding their privacy notification requirements and in the absence of general support from the classes of data users to be affected by DURS, the Privacy Commissioner has decided to hold off on the implementation of DURS until such time as the European reforms have been finalised.

As an interim measure, the Privacy Commissioner has advocated that the insurance, banking and telecommunications industries should consider the development and implementation of a Privacy Management Program (PMP). A PMP is intended to be a more flexible, business-friendly approach to data protection. The insurance industry (as well as other industries) will be encouraged to develop appropriate policies and procedures which will promote good privacy practices.

The Privacy Commissioner will issue guidelines in due course in relation to the development of PMPs and we will provide further updates as guidelines develop.