3. Penalties for Wrongful Disclosure of Spent Convictions
Section 6(1) of the RHO makes it an offence for any person who has custody of, or access to, any records kept by a public officer relating to persons convicted of any offence to disclose that information other than in the course of his or her duties as a public officer. Offenders are liable to a fine at level 4 in the Schedule to the Criminal Procedure Ordinance (Cap. 221) ("CPO"), currently $25,000. The protected information is any information which tends to show that a named or identifiable person whose conviction has become spent and is therefore rehabilitated was charged with, prosecuted for, convicted of, or sentenced for that offence.
It is similarly an offence to obtain information from records kept by a public officer which tends to show that a named or identifiable individual whose conviction has become spent and is therefore considered rehabilitated was charged with, prosecuted for, convicted of, or sentenced for an offence by means of fraud or dishonesty. This offence is punishable by a fine at level 5 of the Schedule to the CPO, currently$ 50,000, and imprisonment for six months.