Launch of Regular Training Programmes & Online Assessment Tool for Retail Industry
(18 August 2014) The new regulatory regime for direct marketing under the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance ( the “Ordinance”), which came into effect last year, has generated immense training interest from the retail industry. To address this interest, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data (“PCPD”), in partnership with the Hong Kong Retail Management Association (“HKRMA”), launched a privacy campaign called “Driving Retail Excellence through Privacy Assurance” (“the Campaign”) with a view to promoting understanding of the data protection requirements under the Ordinance and good privacy practice among members of the retail industry. In concluding the “Retail Operation Seminar＂of the Campaign held on last Friday, the PCPD launched a new online assessment tool tailor-made for the retail industry (www.pcpd.org.hk/retail/online_train.html).
The Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data, Mr Allan Chiang said, “Currently about 260,200 persons are engaged in the retail industry, accounting for 10% of the working population of Hong Kong. In view of the fact that the industry places great importance on training frontline salespeople, and retailers are starting to view personal data protection as a pre-requisite for good customer service, the PCPD will continue organising workshops of relevance to the industry as part of our regular training programmes. Privacy protection will help to enhance customer trust, and thus create a win-win outcome for the companies and their customers.”
Representatives from the retail industry and the PCPD have formed a working group for the Campaign to explore at the operational level which business areas in the retail field involve personal data, and develop relevant training programmes and assessment tools for retail practitioners. Four Retail Operation Seminars were held between February and June 2014 to provide guidance on compliance with the Ordinance, and tips for handling personal data protection in different scenarios of retail operations, such as membership renewal, lucky draw, direct marketing, use of CCTV, staff recruitment and use of mobile apps. Retail practitioners are encouraged to use the newly-developed free online assessment tool on the PCPD website for training or evaluating the level of understanding of the Ordinance among their frontline staff.
The Chairman of the HKRMA, Ms Caroline Mak, said, “The active participation of around 1,300 practitioners from 188 retail companies in the Campaign indicates that the retail industry attaches great importance to protecting their customers’ and employees’ personal data privacy. It is clear that the training programmes and assessment tool not only enhanced the practitioners’ awareness of the importance of personal data privacy, but also helped the industry understand the requirements under the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance and how to comply with them.”
The Campaign is the seventh in a series of the PCPD’s Industry-Specific Privacy Campaigns which commenced in 2007. Over the past seven years, the campaigns have targeted the hotel industry, the real estate industry, medical practitioners in public hospitals, insurers, the telecommunications industry, and the property management industry.
The PCPD is committed to promoting awareness and understanding of privacy and data protection through promotion and public education efforts. A total of 279 seminars were conducted in 2013, attracting 20,898 participants.
Participants experienced the online assessment tool at the concluding seminar.