Speech at Panel on Information Technology and Broadcasting

Application of information technology to combat COVID-19

“LeaveHomeSafe” exposure notification mobile application

Mr CHAN Chun-ying said that S for IT had recently told the media that the implementation of “LeaveHomeSafe” mobile app would cover premises including restaurants, bars or pubs, markets, indoor sports centres, libraries, etc., while the mobile app could also be used in taxis. Holding the view that taking public transport would expose a person/passenger to higher health risks, Mr CHAN queried why the Administration had proposed to display the venue QR codes at markets and libraries but not public transport. He further asked about the criteria for selecting venues for displaying the QR codes.

GCIO explained that, as advised by DH, the implementation of “LeaveHomeSafe” mobile app should cover premises where a large number of people were congregating and in close distance with each other, or where activities were conducted with people/participants taking off their masks. To encourage wider participation of the private sector in the scheme, the Administration would start with the public sector and display venue QR codes at public places, such as markets and indoor venues. As for public transport where most passengers were already wearing masks, DH considered that there would not be significant risk of spreading the virus.

Cash payout scheme

Noting that OGCIO had developed a centralized registration platform for data validation and eligibility checking for the cash payout scheme, Mr CHAN Chun-ying asked whether and how the platform in question would help shorten the lead time and expedite the cash disbursement if a similar scheme was to be implemented in the future.

GCIO indicated that the Administration and banks had taken about four months to establish a registration platform for the cash payout scheme as well as disburse payment to eligible people. As most members of the public had already submitted electronic registrations for the cash payout scheme and given consent on the reuse of their personal data such as bank account number, it was anticipated that the Administration could disburse the cash to eligible persons within one month if similar cash disbursement schemes were introduced in the future. As regards registration by paper forms, the Administration would explore other technology solutions to facilitate the cash disbursement. For instance, the Administration would launch the “iAM Smart” platform in the fourth quarter this year. With the adoption of the “iAM Smart” platform or the faster payment system launched by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, the Administration could in future expedite the disbursement of cash or subsides to people who had not yet provided their bank account information for electronic registrations