Consumer Council invited Office for Personal Data Protection to talk about protection of consumers’ personal data to ‘Certified Shops’

Kong Kai Mio, Senior Officer of The Office for Personal Data Protection, explained ‘Personal Data Protection Act’

The Consumer Council invited the Office for Personal Data Protection to give an introduction of ‘Personal Data Protection Act’ to ‘Certified Shops’ to enhance their awareness on the protection of personal information of consumers.

Representatives from the Office explained the definition of personal data and the role of the shops as defined in the Act. Shops always need to collect, process, and save personal data of consumers during transactions, and they must abide by the regulations stated in the Act to safely process consumers’ personal data to safeguard their privacy. The financial penalty of up to MOP20,000 may be imposed if personal data is not handled properly, leaking of personal data with purpose or misuse of personal data are both criminally liable.

5 responsibilities of protecting personal data

The Office reminded shops that when collecting personal data, the following responsibilities should be taken: the object of collecting data must be reasonable and clear; policies should be established, including the rights of the party providing personal data, and under which condition is the party able to check or rectify his or her own data; to follow the principle of collecting and using data in moderation; to safely keep consumers’ personal data confidential; and to report according to the legislation in force.

The Office stated that shops should never collect personal data that is irrelevant to their businesses, it is prohibited for shops to change the object and usage of the collection of personal data without the consent of consumers, and to transfer consumers’ details to other shops, including subsidiaries or shops under the same company. Aside from keeping information confidential, staff of the company are responsible for professional secrecy. Shops are suggested to organize consumers’ personal data carefully, and to establish policies, declarations, standard of procedures, and security measures. The Office stressed that consumers’ personal data will be safe as long as shops enhance their awareness on the protection of consumers’ details.

Pay attention to security during digitalization

The Office reminded shops to pay special attention to the security when handling personal data to prevent leaking of information.

Attendants of the mentioned talk included ‘Certified Shops’ from real estate agents, beauty centers, travel agents and employment agencies, etc., and they agreed that the talk enabled them to know more about the Act and enhance their awareness in protecting consumers’ personal data.

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