Data Privacy Regulation Comes of Age in Asia

Date: January 29, 2015 (Thursday)

Time: 12:30pm-1:30pm

Venue: Room 723, 7/F, Cheng Yu Tung Tower, HKU

Speaker: Mr Mark Parsons, Partner, Hogan Lovells, Hong Kong


Few areas of regulation today capture as many headlines as data privacy. The capture and transmission of electronic data is the lifeblood of modern business and an essential feature of everyday life. For years, the regulation of personal data was not a priority for Asia’s lawmakers. Times have changed. The past few years have seen an explosion of new regulations on the subject, with China, India, Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan, South Korea and the Philippines all passing landmark new laws that take their cues from the European model of comprehensive privacy regulation. Earlier movers towards privacy regulation such as Hong Kong, Japan and Australia have stepped up or are in the process of stepping up their laws. The intervention of the Snowden affair and numerous incidents of data theft and system hackings have made the tightening of the regulatory environment across the region a timely one.
This talk will explore the background to this sudden shift in regulatory focus, from the common starting point of the 2005 APEC Privacy Framework to the patchwork of differing data privacy regimes we now see across the region. What prospects are there for harmonising these disparate regimes, both within the region and internationally? What were the key developments in 2014 and what can we expect to see in 2015?


Mr Mark Parsons is a partner based in Hogan Lovells’ Hong Kong office who advises on a broad range of commercial and regulatory work in the technology, media and telecommunications sector, including data privacy and cyber security regulation. Mark has prepared submissions to the Hong Kong Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Bureau in connection with its proposals to review and amend the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance. He is admitted as a solicitor in Hong Kong and in England and Wales as a barrister and solicitor in Ontario, Canada and is a registered foreign lawyer in Singapore. In addition to holding a JD from the University of Toronto, Mark also has a Bachelor of Applied Science in engineering from the University of Toronto, where he specialized in computer simulation and process design.