Motion on “The Octopus Incident and Consumer Rights”(2010.07.27)

Speech of the Hon Chan Kin-por on the Octopus incident at the Panel on Financial Affairs (July 27th, 2010)

This morning I saw many furious Members longing to clarify this incident. I would like to Look at this incident from another perspective. I must point out that Telemarketing by using customer database in product promotions has been a common marketing technique worldwide – including Hong Kong – for many years, promoting insurance, credit cards as well as other products. The usual practice is for database owners to partner with service providers. Basically, Telemarketing is a normal commercial operation. The crucial point is to ensure that consumer rights are protected. Therefore, I would like to ask the following:

1) Is the partnership with service providers to promote products using customer database allowed under the Personal Information Collection Statement for Octopus Cards? Obviously, if the small prints in the application form are too small, that should be addressed .(Octopus Card Ltd’s (OCL) response: Yes, in compliance with the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance)

2) How does OCL ensure that the relevant data used by service providers are exclusively for the purpose of marketing? In my understanding, some insurance companies only require the first few digits of the identity card from the database owner or do not require the ID card number at all to reduce the risk of personal data abuse. (OCL’s response: Controlled by a series of measures and the procedures regularly reviewed)

3) How do service providers safeguard customer data against theft or misuse by employees, any retention control and destroy of such data after use ? (OCL’s response: detailed requirements in the contract with the providers)

4) If a Octopus card holder suffers loss of damage because of the acts of the service provider, would OCL takes all responsibility? (OCL’s response: OCL would be responsible for all valid complaints)

5) How many cases of complaints has OCL received in the past? (OCL’s response: there were dozens of complaints which have all been resolved)

Scroll to Top