If adopted efficiently, the PCPD’s Ethical Accountability Framework should help organizations to demonstrate and enhance trust with individuals.

By Kieran Donovan

In October, 2018, Hong Kong’s Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data (PCPD) presented the findings of an inquiry into the ethics of data processing, commissioned by the PCPD with the help of the Information Accountability Foundation (IAF). The result of the inquiry, published as the Ethical Accountability Framework, provides an “instruction manual” for processing data in an ethical and accountable manner.

Following on the heels of the PCPD’s report, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) issued a Circular titled Use of Personal Data in Fintech Development, encouraging authorized institutions (AIs) to adopt the PCPD’s Ethical Accountability Framework.

The HKMA has issued three virtual banking licenses as part of its broader initiatives to develop the local banking industry.

By Simon Hawkins and Kenneth Hui

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) recently announced the issuance of the first virtual banking licenses to three entities.

Virtual banks in Hong Kong are banks that primarily deliver retail banking services through the internet or other electronic channels, instead of through physical branches.

The HKMA previously issued a press release on 7 December 2018 announcing that there had been around 30 virtual banking applications as of the end of August 2018, and the HKMA had shortlisted a third of the applications for the next stage of assessment.

The SFC’s guidance provides helpful clarity amidst growing interest in security token offerings.

By Simon Hawkins and Kenneth Hui

On 28 March 2019, the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) issued a policy statement on security token offerings (STOs) summarizing the legal and regulatory requirements applicable to parties engaging in STOs. This guidance follows the SFC’s 5 September 2017 policy statement on initial coin offerings (ICOs).

STOs typically refer to specific offerings which are structured to have features of traditional securities offerings, and involving security tokens that are digital representations of ownership of assets (e.g., gold or real estate) or economic rights (e.g., a share of profits or revenue) using blockchain technology.