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decision not to investigate the complaint as the accuracy of medical opinion was

outside the purview of the Ordinance and the Commissioner could not compel the

doctor to amend his medical opinion.


In AAB No. 2/2011, a credit report of the appellant issued by a credit reference agency

was found to contain incorrect personal data. The appellant’s name in English, gender

and previous addresses were wrongly stated. The report also showed that the appellant

was the principal of a credit card account with a past-due amount for which in fact the

appellant was not the principal debtor. The fact that the incorrect data might have

been relied upon and used by other credit providers caused concern and the AAB

directed the Commissioner to consider investigating further into the conduct of the

relevant credit providers to see if the credit reference agency was under a duty to

make the correction and supply that correction with reasons to those who had

previously requested and received the inaccurate credit report. In its decision, the AAB

expressed the following views:

94. ….Such duty arises from the moment inaccurate data was provided. The reason is that it is

only right in the interest of the recipient of the inaccurate data that they should be notified of

the inaccuracy, that it is commercial common sense that this should be done, that it is in the

public interest to ensure the integrity of a credit reference agency, and that it is in our view a

duty that should be readily implied, as a matter of law into the contractual relationship

between [the credit reference agency] and the credit providers receiving the credit report.

Any restriction or limitation of such duty on the part of [the credit reference agency] creates

the possibility of lack of any sufficient safeguards for [the credit reference agency] to provide

accurate data.


There are situations where the Commissioner is not in a position to decide whether an

expression of opinion is inaccurate, as illustrated in AAB No. 12/2011. The appellant, a

former member of a religious organisation, had a dispute with a female member

concerning whether the appellant had behaved inappropriately towards that female

member contrary to the faith of the religious organisation. The appellant requested

correction of his personal data mentioned in a letter sent by the religious organisation

leading to the removal of the appellant’s administrative rights in the organisation.

Upholding the Commissioner’s decision not to investigate the complaint, the AAB

expressed the following views:

45. … We think that this data is “opinion” within the definition of section 25(3) of the

Ordinance. What is to be considered “inappropriate conduct” should, in the present context,

be judged by what is considered such by the [religious organisation] rather by the

Commissioner. In other words, this is a matter which is best left to the [religious organisation] …

It is not a matter which the Commissioner can competently (in the words of section 25(3))

“verify”. Nor, we might add, would it be something which, given the particular circumstances

of this case, is practicable for him to verify …