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Protecting Private Data; Food Labelling Legislation - A Defeat for the Government; Developing Hong Kong as a Wine-Trading Centre (30 May 2008)

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At the Legislative Council this week, the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Frederick Ma, said that as far as he knows, private data relating to 46,000 members of the public has been leaked from government departments or public organisations over the past three years. Last month, the Department of Health reported that a USB flash drive carrying the personal data of 665 patients had been lost. The Hospital Authority later admitted that at least nine similar cases in the past 12 months had involved the personal information of 16,000 patents. In other cases, cofidential information from the police and from private companies like HSBC have also been mishandled. How secure is "secure" data? The government suffered a major setback in Legco on Wednesday when legislators voted down amendments to food labelling laws that would have allowed many low sales volume food products to be exempt from such legislation. Retailers had warned that such food labelling requirements could mean that many products will no longer be sold, particularly those that have health claims on the packaging. Hong Kong and China are among the world's most eager wine drinkers, even if an occasional incident of vintage Margaux mixed with Coke may dismay the purist. The government's currently hoping that this enthusiasm for wine can make Hong Kong an Asian wine trading hub. A major Vinexpo in Hong Kong this week is one step towards that goal.

Program: 
The Pulse
Publish Date: 
Friday, May 30, 2008
Station: 
RTHK
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