PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 03 November, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 03 November, 2010, 12:00am

Banks must stop selling us out

First came the scandal of Octopus Holdings, the electronic-payment services provider which sold its clients' personal data for direct marketing purposes. Now comes a similar scandal involving six banks, which were found to have sold customer data to insurance companies.

Such practices are unacceptable. Our personal details are not nor for sale. Even though the banks insisted they acted according to laws and regulations, they acted unethically. They violated their clients' trust and privacy.

As in the case of Octopus, the banks only explain their policies about handling customers' personal information in the small print. So people don't realise they're allowing the banks to profit from their personal information.

We must limit such a betrayal of trust. Banks must be watched closely when it comes to how they handle their customers' personal data. It should be made illegal for them to sell our information. Banks should also be required to educate customers about how their details will be handled.

We might also ask why some companies collect detailed information about their customers in the first place. The government should put laws in place to make sure that customers' private data will not be used for profit.

If our identity can be treated in the same way as any other information, we have nothing left.

Lam Yin-kwai, CCC Heep Woh College

Poverty must be tackled in new ways

Poverty remains a serious problem in Hong Kong. People living below the poverty line struggle just to have enough money for food and their basic daily needs.

Children perhaps suffer the most. Because they don't money to pay school fees, buy proper lunches, or proper uniforms, they may develop low self-esteem. They may become withdrawn or behave badly as a result.

More importantly, they can't afford extra learning experiences or extra-curricular activities which may cost them job opportunities later. Many of them also don't have regular access to computers and the Internet.

Last but not least, poor people and their children often suffer discrimination.

The government should try a new approach to tackle the problem of poverty in Hong Kong. It should listen to the poor to understand their problems better. The government must also step up its efforts to provide more job and higher education opportunities for the neediest people among us.

Lee Tsz-shan, Our Lady of the Rosary College

Megi should make us count our blessings

The fact Typhoon Megi spared Hong Kong from its fury showed us how lucky we are.

Elsewhere in the region, Megi brought heavy winds and rain. It triggered deadly floods and landslides. Many homes were destroyed and many people became homeless. After the devastation, people had to begin the long task of rebuilding.

We escaped all that in Hong Kong. Although many students had hoped that they would have a day-off from school due to the typhoon, they should count their blessings. We live in a stable place which seldom experiences wars or great natural disasters. As we look at disasters elsewhere, we must learn to appreciate our peaceful lives.

Yuen Tze-hin, STFA Tam Pak Yu College

Parents have a lot to learn about us

Many parents don't know how to discipline and teach their children. Some parents are too lenient about their children's mistakes or bad behaviour. Some are too severe.

The root of the problem is that many parents don't know how to communicate with their children. I think parents should treat their children as friends. Speaking down to children and shouting at them will not solve problems.

Take my father, for example. He does not let me make my own decisions. Usually I need to take his word without argument. He sets goals for me, but he doesn't ask me what I want.

I think this approach will make us lose confidence in our own abilities. We will be afraid to express our views and learn just to follow orders.

Parents should listen to their children and respect their opinions. They should love us for ourselves.

Shen Ying, The Chinese Foundation Secondary School