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Dominic Edmondson

Dominic Edmondson is a special counsel in Baker McKenzie's Hong Kong office and a member of the Firm's Intellectual Property Practice Group. His practice focuses on information technology advisory work, IT sourcing & transactions, cybersecurity, e-commerce, telecommunications, global data privacy and data protection, digital media as well as contentious and non-contentious intellectual property matters. Dominic has a keen interest in AI, big data and distributed ledger technology and their impact on business in the Greater China region. He studied Mandarin and put it to good use advising clients on intellectual property strategy and enforcement in Mainland China, where he worked for four years (in Beijing) before moving to Hong Kong.

Regulatory measures came into force at the end of 2023 to facilitate cross-border transfers of personal data between Guangdong Province (“Guangdong”) and Hong Kong (“GBA Measures”). The recent relaxation of the cross-border data transfer (CBDT) regime at a national level may make the GBA Measures less appealing to some companies in the Chinese Mainland (“China” in this article, for the sake of brevity), but the GBA Measures will still be useful to companies which operate in Hong Kong and Guangdong that need to transfer sensitive personal data or large volumes of personal data across the Greater Bay Area, such as those in the healthcare and financial sectors, or those with a large base of data subjects in Guangdong and a regional office in Hong Kong that conduct cross-border transfers of personal data (e.g., customer data) on a regular basis.

The introduction of the Standard Contract for the Cross-boundary Flow of Personal Information within the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (Mainland, Hong Kong) (comprising a set of standard contractual clauses, GBA SCC), together with its Implementation Guidelines marks a significant milestone in facilitating cross-border data flows between major cities in Guangdong province and Hong Kong, key cities in the Greater Bay Area (GBA). It provides an alternative to the existing requirements under the Personal Information Protection Law of the PRC to use one of three methods for transferring personal data outside of mainland China, namely by use of China standard contractual clauses (China SCC), obtaining certification from professional institutions and, if certain types of data are to be transferred or data quantity thresholds are met, submitting to a government-led security assessment review.

In June 2023, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data issued an updated Guidance on Data Breach Handling and Data Breach Notifications (“Guidance”). The Guidance updates a non-binding, end-to-end framework for data users to tackle data breaches, including recommended elements that go into a data breach response plan, questions that need to be addressed in the course of investigating a data breach incident, how to make a data breach notification and tips for preventing recurrence of data breaches.

In recent months, generative artificial intelligence has taken the world by storm.  Following plans to offer generative AI products announced by Chinese companies, the Cyberspace Administration of China released on 11 April 2023 the Measures for the Management of Generative Artificial Intelligence Services for public consultation. Following the consultation period, the interim measures were published on 13 July and take effect on 15 August.