Just as the Greater Bay Area faces challenges to streamline the flow of people, goods and money within the region, so too it needs to harmonise policies on the flow of data across borders. A group of researchers is working on it, and their preliminary report suggests establishing Hong Kong as a hub for regional data management.
The research project, conducted by the City University of Hong Kong and commissioned by Microsoft Hong Kong, has examined legal issues related to cross-border data transfer. It suggests a step-by-step pilot approach be taken in any attempt to coordinate the legal institutions and government agencies in Guangdong, Hong Kong, and Macau.
Hong Kong, Macau and the mainland have very different approaches to handling data. Hong Kong’s law focuses on the protection of privacy and security of personal data, with no legal or regulatory restriction on cross-border transfer of data to and from the city. It is in a good position, therefore, to be a data hub for the GBA as a pilot, according to the research.