Entry for National Statistics / Hong Kong


We wish to give our feedback on the review of National Statistics dataset of Hong Kong, which shows that the dataset is rated as “not openly licensed”.

Public users can download, distribute and reproduce statistics released in the Census and Statistics Department’s website (www.censtatd.gov.hk), which are also listed in DATA.GOV.HK, free of charge for both commercial and non-commercial purposes. In fact, we share the same set of Terms and Conditions with DATA.GOV.HK (Terms and Conditions | DATA.GOV.HK).

The message is conveyed to data users in the website’s Intellectual Property Rights Notice.

We therefore consider that the National Statistics dataset of Hong Kong, similar to other datasets of Hong Kong listed in DATA.GOV.HK (e.g. Government Spending, Procurement, Air Quality), is “openly licenced”.

Statistics related to population, unemployment and GDP could be found below:

Dear @dennis

thank you very much for your feedback. As part of the public dialogue we will follow up on your input together with the reviewers, and will get back to you in the coming days.

All the best

Hi @dennis,

Good point and you are right. The terms of use are similar. I was just wondering, is the requirement to “reproduce and distributed data accurately, fairly and sufficiently” a limitation of its modifiability. I know it seems to be a standard clause in many terms of use, but it seems like a limitation of free modifiability.

Maybe someone from the OpenDefinition could also help, @mlinksva or @marado maybe? We came across similar terms of use in quite a high number of cases and it would be interesting to see whether there is a straightforward answer to this

Hi @dannylammerhirt

Thank you for your feedback.

The requirement to “reproduce and distribute data accurately, fairly and sufficiently” would not affect the creation of derivatives of the data, e.g. using the data to perform analysis, adapting the data in commercial products; and the distribution of such derivatives.

We also note similar terms of use in countries including Canada and Northern Ireland, which have obtained full score in “openly licenced” in the National Statistics dataset.

Kindly note that other datasets in Hong Kong (including Government Budget, Procurement, Air Quality, and National Maps) also share the same set of Terms and Conditions as National Statistics. They have also obtained full score in “openly licenced”.

Based on the above, we consider that the National Statistics dataset in Hong Kong should also receive full score in “openly licenced”.

Hi @dennis

Thanks for clarification. It is sensible to add these clauses especially when dealing with statistical data whose provenance, interpretation and use obviously need to adhere to statistical quality standards.

The reason I brought this up is that we see clauses in other licenses (e.g. Belgium’s company register, cc’ing @barthanssens here).

Here you can see that the license terms say the data “may not be altered”. We interpret this as a clear restriction of modifiability, but still there is room for interpretation. Does this refer to the integrity of a data element. For example does it want to prevent that we willingly change company addresses and publish incorrect information.

I think without more clarity these clauses may create confusion and ambiguity and deter people from using the data.

What are your experiences or your ideas to this?


I will change this accordingly now, so that the data counts as openly licensed

I’d argue that a lot of these clause are based upon “fear” (“what if someone with bad intentions …”) of misbehaving re-users, rather than trying to restrict reuse.

At least in Belgium, it sometimes leads up to the point of adding IMHO legally pointless clauses (something along the lines of: “you may not use this for causes against the Public Order…” … this is already covered by the Law)