Smartcard boss resigns over data sharing

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Smartcard boss resigns over data sharing

Too many hands on customer data.

The chief executive officer of Hong Kong smart card payments company Octopus Holdings, Prudence Chan, has resigned over findings that the company sold its customers' private data to business partners. 

Chan claimed that the company had not broken Hong Kong's laws, however she resigned in an effort to assist the company regain the public's trust, according to the Wall Street Journal

In hearings conducted by Hong Kong's Office of the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data last week, Chan admitted that Octopus shared customers' personal information with six companies, including an insurance company. 

In order to join Octopus' rewards program customers were required to submit a host of personal details, including passport and birth certificate numbers, home phone details, email, as well as personal income and hobbies. 

Following an investigation, Hong Kong's outgoing Privacy Commissioner Roderick Woo earlier this week said that it was clear that for customers to enjoy Octopus' "Basic Benefits", it only needed the applicants' name and Octopus card number. 

Octopus' board today approved the appointment of consultancy DeloitteToucheTomatsu to review the smart card company's data protection policies. 

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