Compliance requirements for the cross-boundary flow of Mainland personal information between nine Mainland cities in the Greater Bay Area and Hong Kong will be streamlined this month.

The Innovation, Technology & Industry Bureau and the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) announced today that it will facilitate the Standard Contract for the Cross-boundary Flow of Personal Information Within the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (Mainland, Hong Kong) (the GBA Standard Contract).

The measure is the first formulated to foster the cross-boundary flow of personal information within the bay area in a safe and orderly manner.

It allows individuals and organisations in the bay area’s nine Mainland cities, and Hong Kong, to enter on a voluntary basis into a standard contract that covers the responsibilities and obligations of both contracting parties in protecting personal information.

The GBA Standard Contract will also lift restrictions on the volume of personal data that a personal information processor can transfer under the Mainland’s framework on the safe management of cross-boundary data flow, and simplify personal information protection impact assessments.

An “early and pilot implementation” arrangement for the contract will begin this month. The first phase will involve open invitations for participation among the banking, credit referencing and healthcare sectors, all of which have strong demand for cross-boundary services.

The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government will review the early and pilot implementation arrangements in due course, with a view to further extending the measure to other sectors.

The bureau highlighted that with the implementation of the GBA Standard Contract, compliance costs for enterprises in relation to cross-boundary personal data flow will be greatly reduced, thereby facilitating the provision of relevant cross-boundary services in the bay area and bringing convenience to the public and businesses.

It added that the contract also promotes the development of the bay area’s digital economy and helps Hong Kong better integrate into national development.

The bureau stressed that the processing and export of personal data from Hong Kong will be conducted on a voluntary basis and will continue to be regulated in accordance with the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance.


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