A new anti-doxxing bill in Hong Kong worries tech companies

A new anti-doxxing bill in Hong Kong worries tech companies

The changes would make technology companies responsible for the content they publish and their employees could be prosecuted

(photo. Unsplash) A new anti-doxxing law, considered too broad, could endanger the presence of large companies technology companies in Hong Kong. The risks are highlighted in a letter sent by the Asia Internet Coalition (AIC) - which counts Google, Apple and Facebook among its members - to the Hong Kong privacy commissioner for personal data. This message, obtained from the Wall Street Journal, argues that the new measures, if approved, could cause US tech companies to stop operating there, for fear of becoming accountable for user-posted content.

These concerns follow some amendments to the Hong Kong Personal Data Ordinance (PDPO). The changes were proposed by the privacy commissioner in response to concerns about online doxxing - that is, the voluntary disclosure of personal data to harm someone. Once the amendments are in place, platforms will have to comply with any government requests to remove content. A measure deemed too broad by platforms.

Another part of the bill has raised concerns that employees of technology companies may be prosecuted individually and whether they will not comply with these changes.

“Local staff of overseas platforms in Hong Kong are not responsible for platform operations, nor do they have the right of access or control to administer the content of the online platform,” Big Tech said in the letter.

“The only way to avoid these sanctions for tech companies would be to refrain from investing and offering their services in Hong Kong, thus depriving businesses and consumers of Hong Kong, while creating new barriers to trade ”, Reads the message.

The Hong Kong government reiterated that the changes to the law would only concern illegal doxxing. City leader Carrie Lam said officials will meet with companies concerned about the changes.

In May, the Hong Kong government announced plans to change data privacy laws after that doxxing had been widely used against the police during pro-democracy protests in 2019.

Last year, the passage of a new national security law forced Google, Facebook and Twitter to block all requests for data production while the law could be revised. TikTok, which does not operate in China, has completely ceased its operations in the city.

According to pro-democracy activists, the former British colony, officially independent of China, is seeing its citizens' freedoms eroded at the behest of Beijing in recent years.

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Hong Kong Internet Privacy globalData.fldTopic = "Hong Kong, Internet, Privacy"

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