Hong Kong’s new anti-doxxing proposal could put tech companies at risk, new letter says

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A new letter from a tech industry group highlights the risks of Hong Kong’s proposed anti-doxxing rules.

Sent to the Hong Kong Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data by the Asia Internet Coalition (which counts Google, Apple and Facebook as members), the letter argues that the new measures will have an extreme impact on regularity. of the proceedings in Hong Kong and could result in US tech companies going out of business there. The letter was first obtained by The Wall Street Journal.

The letter follows a series of amendments to the Hong Kong Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance (PDPO), proposed by the Privacy Commissioner in response to concerns about online doxxing. Once in force, the changes would require swift compliance with any request for government withdrawal – and the ambiguous wording of the bill’s text has raised concerns that tech employees could be prosecuted as individuals. they don’t comply.

“The introduction of severe penalties and in particular personal liability with regard to the evaluation of requests for removal of content has the consequence of encouraging online platforms to carry out little or no examination of requests and to overblock the content, “the letter says. “The only way to avoid these sanctions for technology companies would be to refrain from investing and offering their services in Hong Kong.”

The letter raises new questions about the future of employees at U.S. tech companies in Hong Kong. the Newspaper estimates that Google, Facebook and Twitter alone keep hundreds of employees in Hong Kong, all of whom could be at risk under the new legislation. Amazon, Apple, Yahoo, and Rakuten are also members of the Asia Internet Coalition.

The new amendments come after years of growing pressure on civil liberties in Hong Kong, as China’s central government seeks to exert more influence over city politics. Last year, the passage of a new security law caused Google, Facebook and Twitter to suspend all requests for data production while the law could be revised. TikTok (which does not operate in China) has completely ceased operations in the city.


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