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Hong Kong: PCPD extends requirement to use 'LeaveHomeSafe' app to all premises regulated under Prevention and Control of Disease Regulation

The Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data ('PCPD') announced, on 23 November 2021, that, starting from 9 December 2021, the requirement to use the 'LeaveHomeSafe' app will be extended to all premises regulated under the Prevention and Control of Disease (Requirements and Directions) (Business and Premises) Regulation (Cap. 599F), including restaurants and fitness centres. In particular, the PCPD highlighted that, since the app's launch on 16 November 2020, it had received 49 complaints relating to the handling of customers' or visitors' personal data, upon registration on entry at 31 restaurants and 18 other premises, such as private clubs and recreational venues. Furthermore, the PCPD noted that, of these complaints, 15 were substantiated and all related to the security of personal data of customers handled by restaurants involved. Moreover, the PCPD added that it had issued enforcement notices to the 15 restaurants in question to request them to implement appropriate and practicable measures to protect the registration data of customers. In light of this, all visitors to the premises must first scan the 'LeaveHomeSafe' venue QR code upon entry, as opposed to using paper-based registration forms, from 9 December.

Further to the above, the PCPD confirmed that it had also received two complaints regarding whether the app had a location tracking function, and if the access permissions required for the app to function were excessive, in the same time period. Finally, the PCPD clarified that these claims were found to be unsubstantiated, as there was no evidence to show that the app has location tracking function, and also found that the access permissions relating to 'LeaveHomeSafe' are all operationally required for the functioning of the app.

You can read the press release here.