Motion on “Proposals to Appoint Select Committee to Inquire Transfer of Customer Data”(2010.11.26)

The Hon James TO Kun-sun submitted to the Legco House Committee two proposals to appoint a select committee to inquire into issues relating to the transfer of customers’ personal data by commercial organizations in various sectors. Proposal A was to inquire into the transfer and sale of customers’ personal data in the banking sector, the telecommunications sector, the insurance sector and large-scale chain stores which had induced members of the public to provide them with personal data through various reward programmes. Proposal B was to inquire specifically into the Octopus incident. The Hon KP Chan expressed the following views on the proposals during the meeting on November 26:

Mr CHAN Kin-por said that the business sector felt aggrieved in the Octopus incident. Large commercial organizations would invariably seek legal advice to ensure their acts were in compliance with the statutory requirements. However, owing to the inaction on the part of PCPD which had never issued any enforcement notices, the business sector was not aware of the statutory requirements. Even the case concerning the Wing Lung Bank had not been disclosed until after the revelation of the Octopus incident. He considered it unfair to investigate the banking and the insurance sectors in respect of their transfer of personal data. In his view, were investigations to be undertaken, it was PCPD who should be the subject of investigation as he had not rectified the systemic errors. He was strongly against Proposal A.

As regards Proposal B, Mr CHAN Kin-por added that the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, OHL and PCPD had already undertaken investigations and had issued their respective reports on the Octopus incident. As these organizations had spent considerable time and resources on their investigations, he did not see any merits for LegCo to further investigate into the incident. He therefore also objected to Proposal B. He added that LegCo should be forward-looking.

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