Hong Kong – OGCIO statement

OGCIO statement

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     In response to a media report claiming that a facial recognition function has been found in the “LeaveHomeSafe” mobile app, a spokesman for the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer (OGCIO)  made a solemn statement today (May 3) to emphasise that the operation of the “LeaveHomeSafe” mobile app has never used nor requires any facial recognition function since its launch. After following up with the contractor responsible for the development and maintenance of the app, the OGCIO learned that the contractor had adopted a readily available module in the market for the development of app in order to operate the phone’s camera to perform the scanning processes required for the operation, including scanning and interpreting the venue QR code, the electronic vaccination QR code and the taxi registration mark.  Apart from that, the module does not perform any other operation.  After learning the said module is also bundled with a facial recognition function, the OGCIO has requested the contractor to see how that function can be removed without affecting the normal operation of the “LeaveHomeSafe” mobile app to alleviate public concern.   

      

     The spokesman stressed that the OGCIO understands public concerns over privacy. The Office of the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data has been consulted on every new function added to the “LeaveHomeSafe” mobile app. The app has also passed privacy impact assessment and security risk assessment and audit conducted by independent third parties to ensure its compliance with the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance. All versions of the “LeaveHomeSafe” mobile app were also subject to the stringent reviews of different app stores to ensure the apps available on the stores complied with the requirements of personal privacy protection. The OGCIO will continue to adopt an open and transparent approach and proactively explain the information security and privacy protection aspects of the “LeaveHomeSafe” mobile app to the public.

Hong Kong – OGCIO introduces new functions to Hong Kong Health Code website and announces setting up of 15 additional mobile support stations from tomorrow

OGCIO introduces new functions to Hong Kong Health Code website and announces setting up of 15 additional mobile support stations from tomorrow

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     The Office of the Government Chief Information Officer (OGCIO) today (January 2) announced that 15 additional mobile support stations (making a total of 25 support stations) will commence service in MTR stations across the 18 districts starting from tomorrow (January 3) to assist citizens in need to make applications for the Hong Kong Health Code.



     The OGCIO arranged outreach teams to set up Hong Kong Health Code mobile support stations in 10 MTR stations late last month. The outreach teams received an enthusiastic response and assisted around 15 000 citizens in making applications for the Hong Kong Health Code. The OGCIO will set up additional mobile support stations in Long Ping, Sheung Shui, Wu Kai Sha, Tai Wai, Tsuen Wan West, Nam Cheong, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Prince Edward, Kowloon Tong, Wong Tai Sin, Ho Man Tin, Sai Ying Pun, Wan Chai and Shau Kei Wan Stations starting tomorrow. Together with the mobile support stations in Siu Hong, Tai Po Market, Tung Chung, Tsing Yi, Kwai Fong, Kai Tak, Ngau Tau Kok, Tiu Keng Leng, Wong Chuk Hang and North Point Stations that commenced service last month, there will be a total of 25 mobile support stations in MTR stations. The outreach teams will continue to assist citizens in need to register for a Hong Kong Health Code account and download or update the “LeaveHomeSafe” mobile app from 9am to 6pm every day.



     As at noon today, over 721 000 persons had registered for a Hong Kong Health Code account, among which nearly 80 per cent (around 562 000 persons) had already activated their accounts. To assist members of the public to register for and use the Hong Kong Health Code by themselves, two new functions have recently been introduced in the Hong Kong Health Code website www.healthcode.gov.hk:

 

  1. New “Cancel Unactivated Account” function: Citizens who have completed registration but fail to activate their account due to different reasons, such as not receiving the confirmation letter containing a PIN caused by entering a wrong residential address during registration, can now use the new function to delete the unactivated account by themselves and register again; and
  2. Simplified “Forget Password” function: Citizens can now reset their password by just providing information of their identity document and the one-time passcode received through SMS.




     In addition, the Home Affairs Bureau invited the OGCIO to hold Hong Kong Health Code briefing sessions earlier for 48 district/clansman associations and charity groups to introduce to them the system and operation of the Hong Kong Health Code, as well as to call on them to help their members and service users to complete the relevant registration procedures.



     The Home Affairs Department (HAD) has also set up Hong Kong Health Code mobile support stations at more than 120 locations in the 18 districts since December 21, 2021 to distribute leaflets and encourage citizens to register for a Hong Kong Health Code account. Details of the mobile support stations to be operated between January 3 and 7 are set out in the Annex. The HAD will continue to set up Hong Kong Health Code mobile support stations in various districts in a timely manner according to actual needs, so as to encourage more citizens to register for a Hong Kong Health Code account.