Google has given the Hong Kong authorities the data of some users

Google has given the Hong Kong authorities the data of some users

Last year, the giant promised to stop exchanging information after China's law to crack down on pro-democracy protests. But in at least 3 cases it has not kept its commitment

(Photo by MOHD RASFAN / AFP via Getty Images) Last year, Google provided data of some of its users to Hong Kong officials, according to Hong Kong reports. Free Press, even though he had promised not to release them to local authorities anymore. The US company told the newspaper it had "produced some data" in response to three of the 43 requests it received from the pro-Chinese government in Hong Kong.

A request required urgent delivery of some information due to a threat to the life of a person, deemed credible by the investigators, while the other two requests concerned an investigation into human trafficking and were accompanied by a search warrant signed by a magistrate.

Under the terms services of the company, which apply globally, Google in these cases is authorized to provide user metadata, including names, associated emails, telephone numbers, IP addresses and billing information. Google told Hong Kong Free Press that none of the three responses included user content data.

Beijing's grip

Last August Mountain View pledged not to respond to requests of data from the Hong Kong government, a countermeasure after the approval of the new and stringent national security law wanted by China following the protests that inflamed the former British colony in the summer of 2019.

The law broadly and vaguely bans what China considers forms of "secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion". People found guilty of subversion are expected to be sentenced to life and many activists from Hong Kong movements are being investigated on these charges. The law dealt a severe blow to the pro-democracy movement and sparked protests across the city from residents and activists.

A month after the law was enacted, Facebook and Twitter halted processing of the data requests from the Hong Kong government. And so Google would have promised to do as well, only to deliver the requested information in three cases, which would not even fall within an exchange system governed by the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty and coordinated by the United States Department of Justice, but would still be covered by the guidelines from the company, which claims to review all instances and reject any that may violate user privacy. Hong Kong Free Press writes that the news still indicates "a reversal of the company's position" taken last year.

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China Google Hong Kong Privacy Policy globalData.fldTopic = " China, Google, Hong Kong, Politics, Privacy "

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