Lawmakers kick off debate on missing laptops probe

Civic Passion lawmaker Cheng Chung-tai says the incident could discourage some people from voting. File photo: RTHK

Civic Passion lawmaker Cheng Chung-tai says the incident could discourage some people from voting. File photo: RTHK

Lawmakers on Thursday started a debate on whether to invoke Legco’s special powers to probe the loss of two government computers containing personal data on all Hong Kong voters. 

Electoral officials stored the laptops at the back up site for the Chief Executive election in late March, even though the vast majority of voters do not have the right to cast a ballot in the leadership race.

Officials had insisted it was unlikely that the data, such as ID card numbers and addresses, had been compromised as it is properly encrypted. 

The computers remain missing.

Civic Passion lawmaker Cheng Chung-tai, who moved the motion, said the loss of the computers has undermined trust in the government as well as its credibility.

“The government has made no progress to find out … what happened, this might discourage people from [casting a vote] in the coming elections,” he said.

But the Undersecretary for Constitutional Affairs, Ronald Chan, said a probe by Legco would be unnecessary.

“Since a criminal investigation and the relevant reviews by the Privacy Commissioner have not been completed, we believe it’s not necessary or appropriate to set up a select committee,” he said.

At Legco’s House Committee last month, a probe proposal was voted down by chairwoman Starry Lee after a vote ended in a tie.

http://news.rthk.hk/rthk/en/component/k2/1332422-20170525.htm

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