Privacy body says Education uni breached laws on leaking CCTV images

Local | 20 Sep 2017 5:19 pm

The Privacy Commissioner said today that the Education University had violated data protection principles by enabling the release of surveillance camera footage of two people suspected of putting up a poster insulting a Government official following the death of her son.

The university itself contacted the watchdog over the leaking of images of two men who are believed to have erected a poster on a campus notice board taunting Education Undersecretary Christine Choi shortly after the death of her son on September 8. 

The commissioner’s office said an inquiry had found that the university's security center had prepared the still images from CCTV footage and sent them to 13 members of staff at the institution, as well as a student, via WhatsApp. 

The watchdog said the message was sent to ask the recipients to try to identify the two men pictured, but there was no reminder that the images were confidential and should not be forwarded. 

It warned that the images could have spread to hundreds of people within minutes and nothing could have been done about it. The stills were later published by some newspapers.

The Privacy Commissioner criticized the university for failing to take steps to safeguard unauthorized access to personal data, which is a violation of a data security principle under the y’s privacy laws. 

The watchdog said the university has accepted the criticism and has formulated policies and guidelines on the use of surveillance camera footage, including the need to keep personal information private. 

The poster, which was widely condemned, congratulated Choi on the death of her son. Its appearance followed that of banners and posters at several universities calling for Hong Kong independence.-RTHK

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