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SMS sender scheme expanded

The Office of the Communications Authority (OFCA) announced today that the SMS Sender Registration Scheme is now open for application by all sectors to further help the public verify the identities of SMS senders, with a view to combatting SMS fraud.   Apart from further opening up the scheme, the OFCA said it welcomes public and private organisations from various industries with a practical need to communicate with customers or clients via SMS to join the scheme.   Under the scheme, only registered senders are able to send SMS messages using their registered SMS sender IDs with the prefix “#”. All other SMS messages with sender IDs containing “#” but not sent by registered senders will be blocked by the telecommunications networks.   As such, the public can easily identify whether an SMS message is received from a registered sender by the prefix “#” in the SMS sender ID.   The OFCA reminds citizens to stay highly vigilant when receiving SMS messages from unknown sender

Fake websites, apps followed up

The Office of the Government Chief Information Officer (OGCIO) today said it has referred all suspected fraudulent LeaveHomeSafe websites and mobile apps to Police for follow-up.   It said the fraudulent LeaveHomeSafe mobile app situation is running rampant, adding that making or using those fake apps may breach relevant laws.   While explanatory work on the LeaveHomeSafe mobile app will continue, the OGCIO reminded the public to discern fact from fiction and not to believe in fake and false information.   The Office of the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data also issued a press release on February 19 which confirmed that the app is in compliance with the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance's relevant requirements.   The OGCIO reiterated that the LeaveHomeSafe mobile app does not require registration for use and it does not have a tracking function. Venue check-in data will not be uploaded or transferred to the Government or any other systems, and is saved on users' mobile phones only.   Matching of users' check-in data and the issuing of health alerts will only be carried out within the app. Users' whereabouts will not be disclosed.   The app does not pose a risk to privacy, the OGCIO noted.   Given that the app has undergone and passed security risk assessment and auditing as well as privacy impact assessment conducted by independent third parties to ensure its compliance with the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance, members of the public can feel at ease when using the app.   The OGCIO also reminded people that visiting or downloading websites or mobile apps of doubtful origin pose risks to cyber security and privacy. They should adopt proper information security measures and must not defy the law.
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