29 August 2009

Parents, don't get fooled by CCTVB!

While having a chill glass of beer at this Friday night, I saw this CCTVB evening news report regarding the public consultation on review of the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance.

The Jade report told us that if the public will support, the PDPO could be reviewed so that parents can no longer access personal data of children without their consent. These personal data include medical records, criminal records, drug test results, and even common information which parents always get hold of like academic and discipline records at schools.

Our honourable legislators of course will seize the chance of commenting. Priscilla Leung Mei Fun opined that the review of PDPO shouldn't devastate the harmonious relationship between parents and their kids.

I hope that our honourable legislators were only lazy and had not read the consultation document, and were fooled by CCTVB into giving such non-sensical comments.

Parents, if you need to "access" your kids' "personal data" through a data user, like the school, because your kids don't even want to talk to you about their performances there, you failed disastrously already! If your kids will say "no" when asked whether you can check if they have made troubles at school, it's not about the PDPO destroying the harmonious relationship, but that's entirely your fault!

I am sure that the Jade report intended to scare the shit out of our parents regarding the recent drug test dispute. Their underlying message is actually way too clear: if students under 18 can freely say yes or no to the drug test, that means, if they have a full right to privacy like adults, it will become a slippery slope. It could imply that parents can no longer know what their kids are doing because of the evil idea called privacy.

All they want to say is that, privacy is the enemy of good parenting!

You may say I am cynical, but not like our honourable legislators, I did homework. Tell me why the Jade report put so much stress on the parents' right to access personal data of their kids, when that issue is only one of the 27 proposals mentioned in the consultation document, sharing less than 2 pages of the 86-page paper?

And most importantly, the proposal no. 14 (p. 52) arose from the following concerns:
  1. where the parent may abuse the data access mechanism to obtain the personal data of the child for the parent’s own purpose rather than making it “on behalf of” the child. For instance, an estranged parent may make a data access request to the school or social welfare organizations for his/her child’s location data to trace the whereabouts of the child or the other parent of the child;
  2. where a parent is suspected to have committed child abuse on his/her child; and
  3. where the child has expressed to the data user his/her disagreement to the disclosure of his/her personal data to his/her parents.
I do not read that the review is in any sense intended to handicap parents' care for their children.

So that is how CCTVB manipulated a news.

I checked Yahoo's Hong Kong news, the Ming Pao report there didn't even mention such issue. Funny how the TVB Pearl report on the consultation also didn't mention the "parents" issue at all.

The parents who watch Chinese news are dumber, they think?


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