The Octopus card is a rechargeable stored value smart card for electronic payment in various transportation systems in Hong Kong (Octopus Holdings Limited, 2009). Nowadays, an Octopus card has became one of the necessities in our daily life and 95% of people in Hong Kong aged 16 to 65 use Octopus to travel, dine and shop without the hassle of coins (Octopus Holdings Limited, 2009). Octopus has a great success in Hong Kong electronic payment industry due to its monopolization. However, the issue of sale of customers’ privacy data without permission was exposed and causes a huge effect on Octopus company brand image and arouses people concern on their privacy data. This paper firstly examines the unethical issues regarding Octopus sold customers’ privacy data without permission After that, I will provides some possible suggestions to this problem. Finally a brief conclusion will be drawn.
Octopus’s Unethical Marketing Activity
Consumer Privacy case
An Octopus card contains a great deal of responsive information such as holder’s name, identity card number and even credit card number (Ng, 2010) which means Octopus has a large amount of card holders’ personal information. On 17th of June, The Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions (HKFTU) complains to Privacy Commissioner about a number of companies use the personal data that gained form Octopus for commercial usage, including research of consumer behavior such as shopping preferences. Octopus denied this issue and emphasized they will not hand over the customers’ personal data to any third party on 7th of July. Until the 14th of July, a former employee of Cigna indicated Cigna bought 2.4 million of customers’ personal data from Octopus used for selling insurance. (Oriental Daily, 2010). Finally, Octopus recognized selling customers’ personal data to other companies and it had made HK$44 million in the past 4.5 years (Tsang & Ng, 2010). Deceptive personal data usage practices
Octopus sold customers’...