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Credit bureau TransUnion urged to tighten online security

A local newspaper says it easily obtained data on Hong Kong Chief Executive, Carrie Lam and Financial Secretary Paul Chan

  • Reporters say they were able to bypass checks using identity card numbers and publicly available information

  • Firm, which has records of 5.4 million people in city, denies cyber breach, saying data was fraudulently accessed

Hong Kong’s Monetary Authority and privacy watchdog have called on major international credit bureau TransUnion to improve its online authentication procedures after a local newspaper claimed it could easily access the personal credit files of public figures in the city, including Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor and Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po.

According to its website, TransUnion maintains credit records on 5.4 million consumers in the city and 500 million consumers and businesses worldwide.

Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data Stephen Wong Kai-yi contacted the local branch of the Chicago-based agency after learning about the incident, which the watchdog said might be related to security loopholes involving the procedure for obtaining credit reports, a commission spokesman said on Wednesday.

The commissioner’s office had launched a compliance check and helped the company to take immediate remedial action to minimise any possible damage, he said. The watchdog also urged TransUnion and other financial institutions concerned in the case to halt the problematic credit file subscription procedure.


PUBLISHED : Thursday, 29 November, 2018, 8:36am UPDATED : Thursday, 29 November, 2018, 10:56am

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