FCC club lunch with Allan CHIANG
Speaker: Allan CHIANG
Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data
Topic: Expanding sharing Consumer Credit Data: Where do you draw the line?
To evaluate the credit standing of borrowers, credit providers in Hong Kong rely on a system of consumer credit data sharing through the use of a central credit database operated by a credit reference agency. With effect from 1 April 2011, positive mortgage data for residential properties as well as both positive and negative mortgage data for non-residential properties will be additionally shared.Consumer credit data, particularly mortgage information, are very private to the individuals concerned. From a data protection perspective, more disclosure and use of personal data is tantamount to greater privacy-intrusion. Serious consequences to the consumers may arise through the mishandling of their credit information. How did the Privacy Commissioner arrive at his conclusion as regards whether or not and how to permit the expanded sharing of mortgage data? How did he strike a balance between the public interest and the privacy interest of consumers? Would more disclosure of credit data benefit the consumers through the credit providers’ offer of more favourable terms and pricing? Would responsible borrowing and lending mitigate the risk of possible property bubble forming and subsequent bursting, and contribute to the banking and financial stability in Hong Kong?
Allan CHIANG began his term of office as the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data in August 2010. Prior to this appointment, he had served in the Government for over 33 years and retired as the Postmaster General in 2006.