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Feb 23 Legal Update

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HKEX published updated (i) Guide on General Meetings (ii) relevant FAQ .

The updated Guide principally reflects recent amendment of HK Companies Ordinance which now expressly enables companies holding general meetings virtually or in hybrid mode, rather than holding meetings only at physical locations. (Background: see our Jan 23 update)

It contains HKEX guidance relating to holding virtual/hybrid meetings (e.g. shareholder authentication), which are also in line with HK Companies Registry’s Guidance Note.

There was consequential update of the relevant FAQ, withdrawing 1 question.

Also in this issue


The Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data (“PCPD”) published an investigation report into a data breach incident of HK Institute of Bankers (“HKIB”). (Press release, Executive summary of investigation report)

In Jan 22,  HKIB notified PCPD of a data breach incident, that servers containing personal data(of 13,000 members and 100,000 non-members) had been attacked by ransomware and maliciously encrypted.  The hacker had threatened to upload the files to the internet and demanded a ransom.

(Background: HKIB purchased a firewall from a service provider which also performed outsourced maintenance service. Firewall manufacturer issued a security advisory on its website as regards a specified vulnerability, and suggested specific measures by users (“multi-factor authentication”). The Government Computer Emergency Response Team HK also issued a high threat security alert on such vulnerability, advising organisations to “patch” any affected systems immediately.

Neither HKIB nor its outsourced service provider was aware of such vulnerability. The  recommended measures were not implemented).

HKIB, as the data user, had breached the Data Protection Principles.

(Principle 4: all practicable steps shall be taken to ensure that any personal data held by a data user is protected against unauthorised or accidental access, processing, erasure, loss or use).

PCPD considered that HKIB lacked effective data security risk managementmechanism and adopted a lax approach towards service providers in the maintenance of critical network infrastructure.

It also made recommendations to other organisations that handle personal data using information and communications technology.

What you should watch out for/do:


  • Inadequacies in management of data security risks
    — Did not stipulate any risk management mechanism for data security
    — E.g. service providers not requested to perform regular security checks/vulnerability scans
  • Deficiencies in data information management
    — E.g. antivirus software only had basic protection capabilities
  • Prolonged implementation of multi-factor authentication

Recommendations to other organisations

  • Stay vigilant to prevent hacker attacks
    — Conduct regular risk assessment
  • Establish personal data privacy management programme
  • Appoint dedicated “data protection officer”
  • Enhance information system management
    — E.g. develop effective patch management procedures
  • Conduct data backup conscientiously
  • Monitor service providers properly

This Update in PDF