Aug 132010
 August 13, 2010  Posted by  Breaches, Non-U.S.

More on the sale of bank customers’ data in Hong Kong, reported previously on this site:

Hong Kong’s government was on Friday urged to launch a probe after six banks were found to have sold the personal data of 600,000 customers to insurance companies.

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) said each of the banks had sold the data of 30,000-120,000 customers — including details of their savings and credit card accounts — for marketing purposes over the past five years.

The authority said it made the discovery after surveying 25 banks on their handling of personal data after it emerged that e-payment operator Octopus Holdings sold the information of two million customers for 5.7 million US dollars.


Hong Kong’s privacy commissioner currently does not have the power to summon witnesses to testify or disclose documents to assist an investigation, creating a loophole for any potential breach of privacy laws, To said.

The lawmaker also called on the six banks to come out and apologise to the public. “Apologising on their own initiative will be less ugly than having us find out who they are.”

The city’s largest retail banks, including HSBC, Hang Seng Bank, Bank of China, Standard Chartered, Bank of East Asia, China Construction Bank (Asia), and DBS Bank Hong Kong, said they had not sold their clients’ data, according to news reports Friday.

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