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Hong Kong 2013: privacy issues go public

Computerworld Hong Kong staff | Dec. 11, 2013
Computerworld Hong Kong took an in-depth look at the top ten events that shook the local and global IT world in 2013.

Computerworld Hong Kong took an in-depth look at the top ten events that shook the local and global IT world in 2013.

NSA whistleblower trusted HK...for awhile
Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden rocked the world when he revealed the US government's extensive Internet spying effort. NSA surveillance programs that collected Internet data on US and overseas citizens included Netizens in Hong Kong and China.

Snowden's revelations continue to raise concerns about online privacy and insider threats in the enterprise IT world.

The Snowden saga was a shock to our local IT and political communities as he initially chose to flee to Hong Kong and reveal his first batch of information here. His trust in the local judiciary system didn't last long though. After three weeks he flew to Russia and was later granted asylum there.

PDPO amendment transforms HK businesses practices
Media spotlights shone on data privacy even before Snowden landed Hong Kong, as an amendment to the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance (PDPO) took effect on April. The amendment required organizations to seek customers' consent and provide opt-out channels before using their data for direct marketing. As a result many local IT executives become the guardians to ensure compliance.

Hong Kong hosts IT Fest, the OpenStack Summit, and APICTA
Many tech experts visited Hong Kong for global and regional tech conferences. The OGCIO hosted the city's first International IT Fest, where more than 25 events took place within two weeks. The OpenStack Foundation also chose the city for its first international summit, bringing more than 3,000 cloud developers to Hong Kong. And the AP ICT Alliance (APICTA) Awards returned to the city for the first time since 2004.

Hong Kong steps up as top tech hub
The city achieved recognition as a breeding ground for tech ventures. It was a pleasant surprise when Hong Kong was named by Forbes as the top tech capital to watch, after Silicon Valley and New York.

The recognition came from its expanding ecosystem to provide co-working space and small funding for startups. Google also announced a partnership with CUHK to create an incubation program to provide mentoring and community support for young local entrepreneurs.

Iconic tech leaders retire
Jack Ma, China's Internet icon and founder of e-commerce giant Alibaba, announced plans to step down only a week after the group made major restructuring moves, including plans for an IPO. His successor, Jonathan Lu, is described as a "low-profile leader."

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer also called an end to his career after 13 years in the position. The news came a month after the company announced a $900 million write-off for an oversupply of Surface RT tablets.


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