LLAW6046 Privacy and data protection

1.1 Course details

Course code: LLAW6046 / JDOC6046
Course name: Privacy and Data Protection
Programme offered under: LLM Programme / JD Programme
Semester: Second
Prerequisites / Co-requisites: No
Credit point value: 9 credits / 6 credits
Cap on student numbers: 40

1.2 Course description

This course will explore privacy and data protection in an increasingly interconnected data economy. The Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance and the data protection principles in particular will be studied in depth, making reference to relevant court judgments and Administrative Appeal Board cases. Privacy protection under other ordinances and common law principles (such as breach of confidence, misuse of private information, nuisance, trespass, copyright infringement and defamation) will also be covered. Emphasis will be made to the balance between privacy on the one hand and other rights as well as public and social interests on the other. The challenges posed by technological innovations and applications such as the internet, social media, mobile applications, cloud computing and Big Data will be highlighted.  Specific topics to be addressed will include: (a) the concept of ‘privacy’ and the genesis and development of its political, philosophical and economic underpinnings; (b) global developments and international cooperation; (c) privacy and media intrusion; (d) regulation of direct marketing; (e) Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data: powers, functions and enforcement. The course will focus on the Hong Kong situation but reference will be made to relevant international human rights instruments and the global and regional trends and developments.

1.3 Course teachers

Name E-mail address Office Consultation
Course convenor Allan Chiang ywchiang@hku.hk N/A By email


2.1 Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs) for this course

CLO 1 Be able to give a detailed explanation of the concepts of ‘privacy’ and ‘data protection’ and be able to identify and explain the values at issue in laws dealing with these subjects.

CLO2 Be conversant with and able to critically assess the key general laws (statutory and other) that protect information privacy, with special emphasis on the relevant laws in Hong Kong.

CLO 3 Be familiar with the relevant laws in other jurisdictions, and be able to comparatively assess the similarities and differences between these laws and the relevant laws in Hong Kong.

CLO 4 Be able to explain the various regulatory strategies and compliance practices for privacy and data protection, and critically assess their merits.

CLO 5 Be familiar with and able to assess the challenges to privacy and data protection in an era of rapid advances in information and communication technologies.

CLO 6 Be skilled in researching and using Hong Kong, regional and international materials concerning privacy and data protection, with special emphasis on using internet-based resources.

2.2 LLM Programme Learning Outcomes (PLOs)

PLO A On successful completion of the curriculum, students should be able to demonstrate a solid understanding of the body of legal knowledge and the capacity to conduct research on, critically analyse and evaluate legal principles, at a level required to meet the standards and expectations of the legal profession and the community at large.

PLO B On successful completion of the curriculum, students should be able to apply their legal knowledge and research skills to practical situations or theoretical challenges, and utilise their comparative understanding of the law and its political, social and cultural contexts to provide original and creative insights to legal problems.

PLO C On successful completion of the curriculum, students should be able to apply the knowledge, lawyering skills and legal reasoning to real and novel situations in life, with a view to resolving issues, problems and disputes within the legal parameters.

PLO D On successful completion of the curriculum, students should be able to demonstrate the ability to present effectively legal arguments in the professional context, as well as conveying and explaining the law effectively to lay clients and members of the larger community.

PLO E On successful completion of the curriculum, students should be able to appreciate the underlying moral values of the law and ethics in the profession and the legal system in the broad social, economic, political and cultural contexts: justice, the Rule of Law, and protection of rights and liberties which form the fabrics of a civilised society, and the importance of upholding these values by the legal community.

PLO F On successful completion of the curriculum, students should be able to develop a strong awareness of social issues and conditions, and utilise analytical abilities and rhetorical advocacy to provide leadership for the betterment of the human community.

2.3 Programme Learning Outcomes to be achieved in this course

CLO 1  ✓  ✓
CLO 2  ✓  ✓
CLO 3  ✓  ✓

3.1 Assessment Summary

Assessment task Due date Weighting Feedback method* Course learning outcomes
Research essay TBC 40% 1 This will require students to engage in research on a specific topic relating to privacy and data protection laws, and then engage in the application of the law in relation to that topic.
Take home exam TBC 60% 1 This will cover the whole course, and will assess students’ familiarity with and understanding of the topics covered in the course as well as their critical, analytical and problem-solving abilities.
*Feedback method (to be determined by course teacher)
1 A general course report to be disseminated through Moodle
2 Individual feedback to be disseminated by email / through Moodle
3 Individual review meeting upon appointment
4 Group review meeting
5 In-class verbal feedback

3.2 Assessment Detail

To be advised by course convenor(s).

3.3 Grading Criteria

Please refer to the following link: http://www.law.hku.hk/course/grading-criteria/


4.1 Learning Activity Plan

Seminar: 3 hours / week for 12 teaching weeks
Private study time: 9.5 hours / week for 12 teaching weeks

Remarks: the normative student study load per credit unit is 25 ± 5 hours (ie. 150 ± 30 hours for a 6-credit course), which includes all learning activities and experiences within and outside of classroom, and any assessment task and examinations and associated preparations.

4.2 Details of Learning Activities

To be advised by course convenor(s).

5.1 Resources

Reading materials: Reading materials are posted on Moodle
Core reading list: TBA
Recommended reading list: There is no single textbook for the course. Reading materials, most of which are available online, will be issued for each topic.Two books will often be quoted:

  • Mark Berthold & Raymond Wacks, Hong Kong Data Privacy Law (Sweet & Maxwell Asia, 2nd ed., 2003)
  • Stephen Wong & Guobin (eds), Personal Data (Privacy) Law in Hong Kong: A Practical Guide on Compliance (CityU HK Press 2016)

The first book is out of print but available in the library. The second one is also available in the library and a soft copy can be found at https://www.pcpd.org.hk/misc/booklets/e-lawbook/html/files/assets/basic-html/page-1.html.

5.2 Links

Please refer to the following link: http://www.law.hku.hk/course/learning-resources/

By the publication of the course profile online, the Faculty deems the student as having been notified of the course requirements.