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Census and Statistics Department announces incident of mistaken uploading of file containing information on individual firms onto website
     The Census and Statistics Department (C&SD) announced today (November 22) that the department discovered an incident involving the mistaken uploading of a file containing information of individual firms onto its website.

     A C&SD spokesman said the department found that in the course of preparing a file on statistics for regular release through the C&SD website, the staff members concerned had mistakenly included another file containing information of 46 firms and uploaded them altogether onto the website. The file concerned contains a 10-year data series on a retail-related data item, but the content does not involve personal information.

     The incident took place on November 3. Upon discovering the incident on November 9, the department immediately deleted the file concerned. During the period a total of 43 users downloaded the file.

     The C&SD is very concerned about the incident. The department has, through its website, appealed to those who downloaded the file to delete it immediately. In addition, the department has informed the 46 affected firms about the details of the incident as well as the remedial actions and enhanced precautionary measures taken. The department has also apologised to the affected firms.

     The spokesman said that the department has always attached great importance to protecting data privacy and deeply regrets the incident.

    "According to the internal guidelines of the department, our staff are required to follow established procedures in handling files containing information of individual firms and in uploading statistics onto the website. This is to ensure the data security and correctness of the uploaded statistics. Preliminary investigation indicated that this incident involves human error rather than systemic problems and is a rare, isolated case," he said.

     The C&SD is conducting further investigation and follow-up on the incident. The spokesman said, "We will set up a working group to review the security measures and procedures for handling data collected from respondents. At the same time, we have reminded our staff again to strictly abide by the guidelines. We have also implemented improvement measures to further enhance data security with a view to preventing reoccurrence of similar incidents."
Ends/Wednesday, November 22, 2017
Issued at HKT 18:00
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