Privacy law, big tech against Hong Kong

The Asia Internet Coalition has sent a letter to the Hong Kong Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data (PCPD) to highlight the risks associated with the modification of the privacy law. If the amendments relating to doxxing are approved, many big techs will be forced to leave the local market. Companies responsible for user content The Hong Kong government proposed changes to the privacy law in May to combat doxxing. This practice was used extensively during the 2019 protests to share online the personal information of police officers who had used excessive violence to suppress demonstrations. Political implications aside (many fear the government’s intention is to censor dissent), companies in the Asia Internet Coalition (Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, Twitter and others) believe that the definition of doxxing used in the amendment is too ambiguous. Authorities could then ask for a huge number of content to be removed from online platforms, and if the new version of the law is passed, companies will have to comply with the removal orders by a certain deadline. Otherwise, the government will impose an administrative penalty and company employees could be subject to criminal investigation, risking up to five years in prison.The letter emphasizes that this is an unnecessary and disproportionate response, as intermediaries have not no control over the content posted by users. If the government disregards the above suggestions, the only way to avoid sanctions is to stop the investments and services offered to Hong Kong users.A new security law is in force since July 1, 2020 requiring companies to provide data of users. Facebook, Google and Twitter have decided to reject any request. TikTok no longer distributes its app in Hong Kong.

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