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FAQ

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

 

What is Access My Information?

Access My Info (AMI) is a web tool that helps individuals request access to their personal information from their telecommunication companies or Internet Service Providers (ISP). The tool guides the individual through a step-by-step guide to generate a letter that can be sent to their telecommunication company or ISP.

 

Is this legal?

Yes, this is a right we have in Hong Kong under the Personal Data Privacy Ordinance (PDPO) which stipulates that a “data subject must be given access to his/her personal data”. In general, the PDPO requires companies that collect and use personal data to provide individuals access to their personal information on request. The companies have to do this in a timely manner, for little to no cost.

 

OK, what do I have to do?

Simply follow the step-by-step wizard and generate a letter, which you can then send via postal mail or e-mail to the privacy officer of the company in question.

 

What if the company ignores my request?

Under Section 19 of the PDPO companies must respond to your request within forty days. If you don’t receive a response within forty days we recommend that you send a polite reminder to the company asking why they haven’t yet responded. If you still fail to get a response you can file a complaint with the Privacy Commissioner.

 

I understand this is part of a research project. How can I help?

You have an opportunity to sign up and receive a reminder email forty days after the date of your request. This email will ask some basic questions about the response you received from the company in question. Your answers will be aggregated with others to help us better understand what happens when people file these requests.

 

Does this tool collect my personal information?

No, the tool has been designed to run entirely within your web browser. The information you put into the form stays on your computer. AMI does not know who you are and we prefer to keep it that way.

 

Why do I need to submit a copy of my identity card to make a request?

According to section 20(1) of the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance, a data user may reject a request if the data user is not satisfied with the proof of identity of the requestor.

 

Do I need to pay a fee for my request?

The data user may charge a fee that is not excessive according to the data protection principle 6. The decision of the Administrative Appeal case no. 37/2009 ruled that the data user is only allowed to charge the requestor for the costs which are “directly related to and necessary for” complying with the data access request.

 

Is AMI Open Source?

Yes, you can access all the source code for AMI on our Github account here

 

Who is running AMI Hong Kong?

AMI was originally developed by Open Effect and the Citizen Lab at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy (University of Toronto). AMI is operated in Hong Kong through a collaboration between InMedia Hong Kong, Keyboard Frontline, and Dr. Lokman Tsui, an Assistant Professor at the School of Journalism and Communication at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.


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For more information

Access My Info is a joint initiative created by members of

Chinese University of Hong Kong InMedia Keyboard Frontline The Citizen Lab

About this project

Access My Info (AMI) is a web application that enables you to find out what a variety of different companies know about you. It guides you via a step-by-step wizard to generate a formal letter that requests access to your personal information. This letter can then be sent via postal mail or email to the respective company’s privacy officer.

This service does not collect any of the personal information you provide. This information is used only to generate a letter, which is done entirely in your web browser. Other web pages linked to from this service will be governed by different policies. When you load the service, the web server that hosts the service logs a record of that event. These logs include the IP address used to access each resource required for the service, the date & time of access, and several other non-identifying metadata fields.

Disclaimer: This is a research and educational tool and is meant for informational purposes only. This service does not provide legal advice. You are solely responsible for your use of this service and any resulting consequences. The Citizen Lab make no claims, promises, or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained in this document. This software is offered as-is, with no warranty. Nothing herein should be used as a substitute for the legal advice of competent counsel.

This work is based on Access My Info by the Citizen Lab and Open Effect and licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.