Privacy Commissioner: “The spirit of the rule of law is to have equality under the law, and no one enjoys more privilege than another”.
On 26 December 2019, a masked plainclothed police deliberately displayed a Stand News reporter’s ID card on a live-streaming camera in Tai Po’s Mega Mall. The police was inspecting the reporter’s identity at that time and he held the ID card in front of the camera for several tens of seconds.
Privacy Commissioner Stephen Wong Kai-Yi said on a radio program the following day that there were adequate reasons to launch an investigation. On 8 January 2020, Wong further commented that the police officer was collecting and using the reporter’s personal data when on duty, and the news activity is not exempted from the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance. It is “reasonable and (Wong’s) responsibility” to carry out investigation against data users who are suspected of violating the ordinance.
Wong reaffirmed that both public and private institutions are regulated by the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance and that “the spirit of the rule of law is to have equality under the law, and no one is more privileged than another”.
Stand News reported that the reporter involved in the incident has filed a formal complaint to the Complaints and Internal Investigations Branch of the Police Force and the Office of the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data.