Personal Data Protection in Macau

The personal data protection laws of Macau SAR are based on Portuguese law and the European Union’s Law No. 68/98 on the Protection of Personal Data (PDPA). It sets out the legislative guidelines and grounds that data controllers within Macau are required to follow in relation to the processing of personal information.

In order to be in compliance with the PDPA, all data processing operations must be registered by the OPDP. This system can be a heavy burden on small-scale operators, especially when it comes to registering each and every individual who is affected by the processing of their data.

Furthermore, the OPDP may deem it appropriate to waive some of the security measures outlined in the PDPA, depending on the nature of the bodies responsible for processing the data and the type of premises where the operation takes place. Nonetheless, the data processor is still required to notify the OPDP of any data breaches that occur and to provide an impact assessment report within 30 days of becoming aware of the breach.

Moreover, the PDPA provides that central registers of persons suspected of criminal and administrative offences or decisions applying penalties, security measures or additional penalties, and of decisions regarding the provision of such services, must only be created and kept by public services vested with the specific responsibility in accordance with a legal provision. This restriction is designed to protect the freedom and privacy of citizens.

The PDPA also states that any processing of personal data outside of the enclave must be done with the consent of the data subject. Consent is defined in the PDPA as any freely given, specific and informed indication of willingness to process personal information by a data subject or by a third party on behalf of the data subject. This consent must be documented in accordance with the provisions of the PDPA.

There are a number of mobile phone companies operating in Macau. CTM is the state monopoly in landline and mobile communications, but it has lost market share to Three in Hong Kong and SmarTone in Macau. They offer a 3 or 7 day prepaid SIM with “unlimited” data for HK$100 or less. This card works on the China Unicom network in Macau, and is valid for mainland use without censorship. To activate it, dial *109*99#. This plan can be extended with additional top-ups. Check your usage by dialing *122#. There are many prepaid cards available in convenience stores and shops throughout Macau. They can be recharged at authorised outlets or online. You can also use vouchers for 50, 100 or 200 HK$ found in Circle K, Seven-Eleven and other retailers to reload your phone. There is no limit to the number of times you can top-up, and your residual balance will be shown on your screen at the time you dial *122#. This service is free of charge for Macau residents.