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Electronic marketing and internet use
Are there rules specifically governing unsolicited electronic marketing (spam)?
The Unsolicited Electronic Messages Ordinance (Chapter 593) regulates the sending of commercial electronic messages – including pre-recorded telephone messages, faxes, text messages and emails – for the purpose of offering, supplying or promoting goods, services, facilities, land or business opportunities, among other things.
Individuals can register their telephone and fax numbers on a ‘do-not-call’ register to stop unsolicited commercial electronic messages from being sent to them. Any party that sends an unsolicited commercial electronic message to a number that is registered on the do-not-call register will be in breach of the Unsolicited Electronic Messages Ordinance (Chapter 593).
Organisations can send unsolicited commercial electronic messages to any telephone or fax number that is not registered on the do-not-call register, subject to their compliance with the Unsolicited Electronic Messages Ordinance (Chapter 563) and related regulations. For example, a sender must:
- display its number when sending messages;
- clearly identify itself and provide contact information in the message; and
- offer recipients a way to unsubscribe.
Cookies are governed by the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance (Chapter 486) to the extent that they amount to personal data. If it is reasonably practicable to ascertain an individual’s identity directly or indirectly from the cookies (either individually, combined or with other data), such collection will likely fall within the scope of the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance (Chapter 486).
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