Education Secretary calls for student privacy after Mabel Cheung’s documentary incurs complaints

The education chief called on schools to carefully protect students’ personal information as a newly released documentary focusing on a school was pulled from cinemas over privacy invasion complaints by some students featured in the movie.

In a press briefing on Wednesday, Secretary for Education Christine Choi Yuk-lin said Ying Wa Girls’ School, the school filmed by awarded director Mabel Cheung Yuen-ting in her 136-minute documentary, To My 19-Year-Old Self, has launched a crisis management panel to cope with the privacy leakage criticism.

"I myself haven’t watched the movie," Choi told the press, "But I was informed that the school involved has arranged assistance to students affected by the movie."

"The Education Bureau appeals to every colleague in schools to pay utmost attention to student’s personal information and abided by the ordinance of privacy," she said.

Cheung’s documentary followed six secondary school students from her alma mater, Ying Wa Girls’ School, and was released in cinemas on February 2.

However, star cyclist Sarah Lee Wai-sze and two students filmed in the movie argued that the movie failed to get their consent before its public screening.

Lee added that a clip of an interview conducted by Cheung to her was included in the film without her knowledge.

"I will not watch, and I won’t recommend you watch the movie," said Lee.

On February 5, Cheung announced the suspension of the documentary’s screening.