Prof. Stuart Hargreaves - Privacy and Media Law

Prof. Stuart Hargreaves (Chinese University of Hong Kong) will deliver the latest seminar in the Centre for Business Law and Practice Seminar Series.

The Centre for Business Law and Practice is delighted to welcome Prof. Stuart Hargreaves to deliver a public seminar which will appeal to anyone interested in privacy law, the media, intellectual property, human rights and social justice.


IP Addresses as Personal Data Under Hong Kong’s Privacy Law: An Introduction to the Access My Info HK Project

IP addresses have significant implications for personal privacy – if connected to a particular subscriber, they can reveal a vast range of online behaviour. The question of whether IP addresses are ‘personal data’ under a data protection regime is therefore critical, as such a classification greatly limits the usage to which those addresses can be put absent user consent. Consequently, jurisprudence under the EU Data Protection Directive treat IP addresses as ‘personal information’, as does the new GDPR. There is thus robust protection given to IP addresses under European law. In Hong Kong, however, the jurisprudence is limited to two lower court decisions that are inconsistent with one another, and neither show a deep appreciation for the importance IP addresses may have in revealing the behaviour and activities of Hong Kong residents online. Noting this relative lack of clarity, the Access My Info: Hong Kong (AMI:HK) project created a platform for users to make data access requests to telecommunications service providers. Thus far, the project reveals a lack of consistency in the way these requests are handled procedurally. However, on a substantive level all providers in HK appear to deem IP addresses to not be personal data. The implications of this are significant, given an increase in police requests for online user information from ISPs in the past few years.

About the Speaker

Prof. Stuart Hargreaves is Director of the LLB programme and Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Studies. He joined the Faculty in July of 2013 following the completion of his doctorate in law at the University of Toronto, where his thesis considered the privacy and legal implications of widespread ‘geo-immersive’ surveillance – using new mapping technologies to record public space for commercial purposes. It was supported by a major grant from the Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. Prof. Hargreaves also holds a BCL from Oxford University, where he wrote a dissertation on the interaction between proposed privacy standards in APEC and European laws regulating the outward flow of personal data to non-European states. He also holds a JD from Osgoode Hall Law School and a BA in politics & sociology from McGill University.

While completing his doctorate Prof. Hargreaves was an adjunct faculty member at Osgoode Hall Law School (teaching property law and information & privacy law). He has also worked as a policy advisor to the Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic and practiced law for the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General, in the constitutional law and policy branch. His areas of research and teaching reflect this background, with a dual focus on information & privacy law and constitutional law & legal theory. Prof. Hargreaves welcomes discussions with LLB or JD students who are interested in writing independent research papers on those topics; prospective PhD students should, however, follow the established application procedures rather than contacting him directly with a proposal. Prof. Hargreaves won the Faculty's Teaching Excellence Award in 2017.

Please click here to register for Stuart's seminar.

The seminar will be followed by a wine reception.

Location Details

Moot Court
School of Law
Liberty Building
University of Leeds

For sat navs, please use the postcode for Moorland Road, LS6 1AN. 

The Liberty Building can also be found on the campus map

All welcome. This is a free event, though registration is required.

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