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OGCIO statement on security concerns over "LeaveHomeSafe" mobile app
     In response to a report conducted by an overseas cyber security company claiming that the "LeaveHomeSafe" mobile app has security flaws, the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer (OGCIO) today (July 28) made the following solemn statement on the inaccurate report and unfair allegation.

     A spokesman for the OGCIO said that the "LeaveHomeSafe" mobile app is a digital tool for fighting against the epidemic. Protection of personal privacy has always been the prime objective in the app's design, development and use. No registration is required and all data related to personal privacy stored in the app are masked and encrypted. The number of downloads has exceeded 8 million since its launch more than one year ago, and as a digital tool commonly used by the general public on a daily basis, no security or privacy-related incidents have been reported. In addition, the OGCIO has repeatedly explained in response to the allegations related to the facial recognition module in May this year and reiterated that the "LeaveHomeSafe" mobile app has never used nor requires any facial recognition function. The relevant facial recognition module has also been removed already as pledged.

     The spokesman stressed again that the "LeaveHomeSafe" mobile app strictly follows the policies, requirements and standards of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government on information security and privacy protection, and the technical specifications of the "LeaveHomeSafe" mobile app have also been uploaded to the website in an open and transparent manner for public reference. Prior to the launch of all major updated versions, the app has passed privacy impact assessments, security risk assessments and audits conducted by independent professional third parties to ensure that the app is safe and reliable. Relevant reports have also been uploaded to the website for public reference. Moreover, each version of the "LeaveHomeSafe" mobile app must pass the stringent reviews of different app stores to ensure the apps available on the stores comply with the requirements of personal privacy protection. The OGCIO has also consulted the Office of the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data on every new function added to the "LeaveHomeSafe" mobile app to ensure the app complies with the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance.

     The OGCIO expressed deep regrets and strongly opposed to the inaccurate report and unfair accusation.
Ends/Thursday, July 28, 2022
Issued at HKT 19:28
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