Motion on “The Business Sector’s Feeling in the Octopus Incident”(2010.10.22)

The Hon KP Chan expressed the following views on the proposal of the Hon James TO Kun-sun concerning the appointment of a select committee to inquire into issues relating to the transfer of customers’ personal data by commercial organizations during the House Committee meeting on October 22:

Mr CHAN Kin-por said that the business sector felt aggrieved in the Octopus incident. He pointed out that commercial organizations had sought legal advice to ensure compliance with PDPO before implementing initiatives involving the use of personal data. He questioned how PCPD, having operated for more than 10 years and receiving some 900 cases of complaints each year, could have failed to identify systemic errors such as the font size of the relevant terms being too small and customers not being advised of the terms on the use of personal data. In his view, PCPD should shoulder the major responsibility in the Octopus incident. He considered that it was not a question of resources, but whether PCPD had the will to do the work, as shown in his completion of the investigation report on the Octopus incident and issuance of the new guidelines without obtaining any additional resources. Mr CHAN did not consider it necessary to inquire into the matter, given that PCPD had issued new guidelines to provide practical guidance on the collection and use of personal data in direct marketing and the Administration was also working on legislative amendments to tighten the regulation of direct marketing activities. He stressed that commercial organizations had made their best effort to comply with the law, but some of them were still found to have contravened the requirements due to the lack of clarity in PDPO. He considered that it would be more constructive for Members to focus their work on the legislative amendments to be made to PDPO.

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