- Data Protection Policy
Data Protection Policy
Statement of Social Welfare Department's data protection policy, practices, kinds of personal data held and main purposes for using personal data.
Policy and practices
The Department's Data Protection Policy is to comply with the obligations under the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance. The main points of the Department's policy and general practices are summarized as follows :
- Personal data should be collected by lawful and fair means for lawful purposes directly related to the functions and activities of the Department;
- The data so collected should be necessary, adequate but not excessive in relation to the purposes;
- As far as reasonably practicable, before data are collected from the data subject, he/she should be informed of the purpose(s) of collection and the classes of persons to whom the data may be transferred to;
- The data subject should also be informed of his/her rights to request access to and correction of the personal data;
- All reasonably practicable steps should be taken to ensure that personal data collected or retained are accurate for the purposes for which they are to be used;
- Personal data will not be kept longer than necessary for the purposes (including any directly related purposes) for which they are to be used, unless the retention is governed by legislation or it is in the public interest, for instance, historical (archival) interest, not to erase the data;
- Unless prior consent has been obtained from the data subject, the personal data should only be used, disclosed or transferred for the purposes or a directly related purpose for which they were collected or where it is allowed under the Ordinance;
- All reasonably practicable steps should be taken to ensure that personal data held are protected against unauthorized or accidental access, processing, erasure or other use;
- Data subject will be allowed access to and correction of personal data relating to him/her subject to the provisions and exemptions of the Ordinance. Access to personal data as provided for in the Ordinance means obtaining a copy of the data rather than inspection of the data or file. Furthermore, the Ordinance requires that the personal data of other individuals in the same record be deleted from the copy to be supplied to a data subject. Payment of photocopying charge is required for the supply of a copy of the personal data. Currently, the charge is HK$1.00 per photocopy.
Kinds of personal data held by SWD & main purposes for using them
- Personnel record of staff of the department for the processing of various applications under the prevailing government regulations and ordinances and for staff management functions in terms of training, posting, promotion and discipline, and personal data of candidates applying for appointments in the department.
- Records kept by different service units of the department for the processing of applications for and provision of welfare service, including monitoring and review of services and conducting of research and surveys, and for discharging statutory duties. The scope of data kept on data subjects will vary depending on the type of service being sought or provided. In general, they may include some or all of the following : -
- Identification data e.g. name, Hong Kong Identity Card No.
- Personal details e.g. sex, date of birth, age, address
- Family circumstances e.g. marital status, details of other family members
- Education background and employment details
- Financial circumstances
- Information on health
- Others e.g. any criminal conviction, record of absence from Hong Kong
- Opinions and assessments on the data subjects in relation to the applications / provision of welfare service
- Personal particulars and qualifications of trainees from non-governmental organizations, social work students and fieldwork instructors from training institutions, trained social work personnel, other personnel who are not SWD staff (including trainers, clinical psychologists and clinical psychologists-in-training) and applicants of Social Work Training Fund are kept for the purposes of organising training courses for staff of the department and non-governmental organisations and field work placement for social work students, manpower planning and processing applications for Social Work Training Fund;
- Personal particulars, qualifications and employment records of candidates for appointment to social work posts in civil service or subvented welfare services are kept for assessment of their social work qualification on behalf of other department or subvented agency concerned;
- Personal particulars, qualifications and employment records of staff in subvented social welfare agencies are kept for purposes of assessment of their salary for calculation of subvention, updating the calculation of subvention in respect of personal emoluments allocation for each subvented agency, processing applications for mortgage interest subsidy scheme and replacement grant for staff in subvented agencies;
- Personal particulars and curriculum vitae of volunteers are kept for purposes of arranging volunteer service, for consideration of appointment and reappointment to serve advisory Boards and Committees and for consideration of nominations for honours and awards;
- Personal particulars of persons who apply for public subscription permits for holding charitable fund-raising events in public place are kept for assessing the applications;
- Where an application has been submitted for naming an existing or planned welfare project funded by Lotteries Fund after a donor, the personal particulars of the donor are kept for assessing the application for approval; and
- Personal data of individuals who have made enquiries or lodged complaints to the department are kept for handling the enquiries / complaints and for statistical purposes.