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While Online Transactions are Popular, Consumers Must Not Forget the Importance of Personal Data Security

  • Issued by   Legal Affairs Bureau
  • Date:2017-10-05

According to statistics from the Criminal Investigation Bureau, individuals who engage in personal ventures involving well-known Internet shopping sites or online platforms such as www.ruten.com, www.crazymike.tw, www.buy123.com.tw and so forth often encounter cases of fraud due to leaks of consumer data. News media have disclosed that even China Trust Commercial Bank, the Postal Stamps Mall, Nan Shan Life Insurance and other large-scale enterprises had leaked personal information of their clients.
Due to the speed and convenience of online transactions, during the process of promoting consumption, occasionally businesses may improperly collect, process and make use of consumers' personal data. In such a case, a consumer can easily become the target of criminal fraud if personal data is leaked due to its being mishandled by a business. At this point, the Executive Yuan's Department of Consumer Protection (hereafter referred to as the DCP), in line with Personal Information Protection Act, is of the mind that there is still much room for improvement in the manner by which businesses handle such leaks of personal data so that the rights and interests of consumers can be safeguarded. Consequently, the DCP requests that respective central competent authorities, with respect to the business of each industry, formulate or amend specific standards regarding personal data security maintenance.

In response to the current achievements made by various businesses in the handling of personal data leaks, the Executive Yuan has already requested that central competent authorities, in compliance with Article 27 of Personal Information Protection Act, formulate or amend plans and means to secure and safeguard relevant personal data records. Demands have been made that when there is a leak of personal data, measures must be taken to inform any and all litigants of said leak by means of a special consultative services hotline; and, if necessary, the relevant authorities are to be notified so that they can handle the case. As of now, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and other central competent authorities have already formulated or amended 27 related security maintenance measures for personal data records.
The DCP advises consumers to pay close attention when engaging in online transactions to the purpose, classification and usage periods (the area, target and manner) employed by a business in the collection of personal data, and whether or not a reasonable association has been established for this data collection. Consumers should also bear in mind that they have the right to make inquiries about, provide copies of and make corrections to personal data, and that they can also stop the collection, processing, and usage of such data, or request that his or her personal data be deleted. If a business is found to have illegally collected, processed or used personal data, or has been involved in leaking such data, in addition to advocating against businesses involved in such illegal activities, consumers should also make such cases known to the central competent authorities of municipal, county and city governments in order to protect their own rights and interests.

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