Sunday, November 23, 2014   

Privacy watchdog slams excessive use of data on customer loyalty scheme
(10-11 18:10)

Customers' privacy may have been violated under the customer loyalty schemes, the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data Allan Chiang said in four four investigation reports released on Thursday.
The three scheme, including the "Fun Fun Card" program 1 by China Resources Vanguard Company Limited, the "Mann Card Program" by The Dairy Farm Company Limited, and the "MoneyBack Program" by A.S. Watson Group (HK) Limited through PARKnSHOP and Watsons.
The commissioner particularly slammed Watson Group, directing it to stop collections of customers' ID numbers, erase completely the ID number of applicants and other data collected. "Ill-defined" purposes much also be removed.
"After the Octopus incident in 2010, public awareness of the collection and use of personal data in direct marketing activities has significantly raised. I expect that corporations in Hong Kong should have learnt a lesson and paid more attention to data privacy regulations," Chiang said.
According to the report, the operators had collected the applicants’ Hong Kong Identity Card or passport number, complete or partial number, for the purpose of providing them with a default log-in password for using the program’s online service. This amounted to unnecessary and excessive collection.
In particular, the program operators have either not defined or ill-defined the purpose of use of the data and class of data.
   
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