Hong Kong Golf Club embroiled in privacy controversy that continues to linger for over half a year

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4th June 2023 – (Hong Kong) The Hong Kong Golf Club (HKGC) has been at the centre of a privacy scandal that has yet to be resolved, according to a recent report by the Oriental Daily News. The golf club is accused of collecting an excessive amount of personal information from visitors and players, including demanding that they upload a copy of their identity card to the website in order to book tee times at the club’s courses in Fanling or Clearwater Bay.

Visitors and players have complained that the club’s demand for personal information goes beyond what is reasonable, and have raised concerns about the handling and storage of this sensitive data. Some have even gone as far as filing complaints with the Office of the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data (PCPD).

The HKGC has responded to these complaints by claiming that it has revised its registration system on the website. However, visitors and players who have filed complaints note that the club has yet to address the issue in a timely and satisfactory manner, with the controversy having dragged on for over half a year since the initial complaints were filed in November 2022.

Critics of the HKGC’s actions have criticised the club for being careless and slow in addressing the privacy concerns, with some arguing that the collection of excessive personal information raises questions about the club’s compliance with data protection laws. Some lawmakers have also weighed in on the controversy, calling on the club to take swift action to allay public concerns about the handling of personal data.

In response to inquiries by the press, the HKGC has stated that visitors and players may register in person at the club and present their identity card to staff, rather than uploading it to the website. However, this has not satisfied those who feel that the club has failed to take the concerns of visitors and players seriously.

The HKGC is a private golf club that has been a fixture of the Hong Kong golfing scene since its founding in 1889 as the Royal Hong Kong Golf Club. The club is home to the Hong Kong Open, a prestigious golf tournament that is co-sanctioned by the European and Asian Tours.

The HKGC has been known for its high standards of play and for hosting some of the most prestigious golf tournaments in the region. However, the controversy over its handling of personal data has cast a shadow over the club’s reputation, and it remains to be seen how the HKGC will address the concerns raised by visitors and players.