Macau is a city and special administrative region of The People’s Republic of China. While it is a part of the PRC, it has its own legal and regulatory framework with respect to data privacy and protection. One of the main legislative instruments is the Personal Data Protection Act (Act 8/2005). It lays down the principles and grounds that data controllers and processors must follow when handling personal data within the jurisdiction of the city.
The act’s key provisions include: Transparency – Data processing must be transparent and in strict compliance with the privacy of data subjects. Lawful basis – Personal data may only be collected and processed for lawful purposes that are determined by data controllers or processors. Purpose limitation – Personal data must be collected for only the purposes outlined in the data processing agreement. It is against the law to collect or process personal information for other purposes.
Another important aspect of the act is the requirement for data processing to be carried out with the consent of the data subject. In the case of online gaming, the operator must obtain the consent of the player prior to allowing the gamer to play. Moreover, the operator must notify the user of the purpose for which the personal information is being collected and must give the option to decline or opt out of the use of his or her personal information for such purposes.
Lastly, the act requires that personal data be accurate, complete and up-to-date. In addition, it must be stored securely and accessible only to those who have the right to access it. During my smart tourism-related interviews with various professionals from academia and industry in 2019, almost all of them mentioned that the government should take up the leading role in the development of smart tourism. Hence, the availability of open data is essential for this endeavor to succeed.
To this end, the Macau SAR Government Open Data Platform was launched in 2019 as a single point of entry for data provided by various government entities. Currently, the platform hosts around 40 datasets. This includes a variety of geospatial, statistical and socioeconomic data about the territory and its residents.
To facilitate the use of this information, the platform is designed with a clean and intuitive interface. Users can browse through the datasets by category or search for specific data using the search box. In addition, they can find details of each dataset’s source and creator through links to the respective websites. In this way, they can make more informed decisions when making tourism decisions. In fact, this will be especially beneficial for small and medium-sized enterprises which are often unable to afford expensive consultants. Lastly, the platform also makes it easier for citizens to monitor and control the collection of personal data by public bodies.