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Govt defends tightening of company registry searches

2021-04-09 HKT 14:33
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  • Govt defends tightening of company registry searches
Wendy Wong reports
Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury Christopher Hui on Friday dismissed criticism that the tightening of company registry searches is a “regression”, saying the move is aimed at protecting people’s privacy as ‘doxxing’ has become more prevalent.

The government has proposed barring the public from accessing some personal information about executives through company registry searches.

Civic Passion lawmaker Cheng Chung-tai said the change would seriously affect property agents, lawyers, people involved in labour disputes, and those who work in the banking and finance sectors that often use the database.

He warned it could lead to more money laundering cases.

But Hui said this would not happen as public officers could still access the restricted information.

“Agencies and officers who work against money laundering will still be able to get the information,” he said. “The change is absolutely not a regression, but a development as people attaches more important to privacy.”

Pro-government lawmakers generally supported the change, saying it had struck a balance between protecting people’s privacy and people’s right to know.

The lawmaker representing the commercial sector, Jeffrey Lam, said the government should step up promotion work about its proposal.

“Some people are strange,” Lam said. “They said privacy is important; they are worried that their DNA would be stolen by Covid tests and that the LeaveHomeSafe app would infringe their privacy.

“But when the doxxing problem becomes so serious, they didn’t say anything about it.”