(Q6):Building a strong digital security barrier
Mr. CHAN CHUN-YING:
Thank you, President. The Plan for Digital China, as mentioned in both the main reply and the main question, clearly indicates the need for enhancing the environment for digitalization, which involves two areas of work: firstly, building a fair and standardized digital governance and ecosystem by enhancing the laws and regulations and the legal system, and as mentioned in the main reply, the SAR Government has already started working on that; secondly, building an open and win-win international cooperation in the data field and actively building platforms for cooperation with various international organizations.
Hong Kong is currently a member of the World Trade Organization and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (“APEC”). As far as I know, APEC has the Cross Border Privacy Rules in place. May I ask the Bureau whether Hong Kong has started cooperating with these organizations in the data field? If so, what is the progress? Thank you, President.
SECRETARY FOR INNOVATION, TECHNOLOGY AND INDUSTRY:
Hong Kong has been fully open to any cooperation in the data field over the years. In an earlier evaluation on Hong Kong’s performance in the data field, we scored very highly for data openness, which is among the highest in Asia. I believe that Hong Kong, as an open and cosmopolitan city, will remain open in this regard. On that account, the data environment (especially in terms of internationalization) in Hong Kong at present is quite satisfactory.
While data from all parts of the world can be transmitted to Hong Kong in accordance with their respective regulations, there is also a certain degree of data exchange between Hong Kong and the rest of the world under the protection of relevant laws. We hope to maintain this momentum in the future, and while doing so, we hope that data from the Mainland can also be transmitted to Hong Kong under the national framework of cross-boundary data security management system in a safe and orderly manner. As such, Hong Kong can truly capitalize on its unique advantage of pooling data from all over the world and give full play to the advantages of “one country, two systems”.
I believe there are not many cities worldwide which are comparable to Hong Kong, as we have such a unique advantage. This is also the reason why the Memorandum of Understanding we signed with CAC on cross-boundary data flow is so significant. I believe that in the near future, the industry will tap into this advantage of Hong Kong and develop Hong Kong into a global data hub.