Throw the Octopus in the frying pan (2)

While Paul the Psychic Octopus in Germany is enjoying some good-natured, magnanimous treatment by the public, Prudence the Octopus chief in Hong Kong may not be quite so lucky.

Prudence Chan, CEO of the electronic smart card company, provoked a huge public outcry by initially denying flatly that Octopus would sell cardholders' personal data to any third parties and finally admitted during a Privacy Commission hearing that they had sold the personal particulars of 1.97 million customers to six companies for HKD44 million over the past four and a half years. What got the general public so infuriated is not only that their personal data have been sold for a profit but also that the integrity of the CEO is highly questionable following what looked to be an attempt to cover up the truth with blatant lies. "Tentacles of Lies," exclaimed a newspaper headline today.

How ironic that the dictionary defines the word "prudence" as "discretion in practical affairs" and "knowing how to avoid embarrassment or distress".

It remains to be seen whether the slippery Octopus can wriggle out of this one or the recipes referred to yesterday can be put to good use.

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