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Laptops with voters' personal data went missing after HK's chief executive election

Nurdianah Md Nur | April 5, 2017
However, REO assures that all the information has been encrypted in accordance with the relevant security requirements, and is protected by multiple encryptions.

Glasses on data
Credit: GraphicStock

Personal data of 3.78 million voters in Hong Kong may have been compromised as the Registration and Electoral Office (REO) reported that two laptops containing those information went missing on 27 March, a day after the 2017 Chief Executive Election.

The REO suspects the laptops were stolen from a locked room at the AsiaWorld-Expo in Chek Lap Kok, the fallback venue for the election.

In a press statement, the REO said that one notebook computer contains the names of Election Committee members without other personal particulars. As the relevant names have already been promulgated through public platforms, there is no risk of data leakage. 

The other computer contains the names, addresses and Hong Kong Identity Card numbers of about 3.78 million geographical constituency electors in the 2016 final register. However, the REO assures that all the information has been encrypted in accordance with the relevant security requirements, and is protected by multiple encryptions.

About 550,000 electors who have provided their email addresses have been informed of the incident to mitigate potential damage.

Electors can log into the Online Voter Information Enquiry System (OVIES) to check their registration status and the latest registration particulars. They are encouraged to contact the REO if they find any irregularities concerning their personal particulars on the site.

The police is currently investigating the incident. The REO has also urged other government departments and organisations from sectors including finance, insurance, telco and retail, to adopt appropriate measures to prevent identity/data theft.

 

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