Facebook Inc., Twitter Inc., LinkedIn, and Google reminded Hong Kong’s government that they can leave the city-state if it continues to implement privacy and doxxing laws.
The warning was sent to Hong Kong’s government in a letter last weekend. The Wall Street Journal first reported the warning in a letter to the Hong Kong government last weekend. ZDNet also reported the letter. The tech giants expressed concern about proposed law changes because they could have too broad an interpretation that could render sharing information online illegally.
“The current proposal seems to indicate that seeking, combining, consolidating, and republishing personal data already in the public domain would be an unqualified doing crime,” stated Jeff Paine, managing director of Asia Internet Coalition.
AIC stated that the amendment would put company employees at risk of being imprisoned if it was introduced. However, digital platforms are more vulnerable to criminal investigation due to the doxxing posts made on them by users.
Jeff Paine stated in the letter that criminal investigations and prosecutions of online platforms for doing offenses, under the new amendments, are totally disproportionate and unnecessary to doxxing cases.
It claimed that the platform is neutral and does not have editorial control over posts about doing. The platform also claims it is not responsible for publishing personal data. Paine stated in the letter that imposing sanctions on individuals is against global norms.
“The only way to avoid sanctions on these tech companies is to not invest or offer their services in Hong Kong. This will deprive Hong Kong businesses and consumers of their services and create new barriers to trade.”
The Hong Kong Bureau of Constitutional and Mainland Affairs proposed an amendment to the Personal Data (Privacy Act) Act in May. This was because doing must be addressed. Doxxing is punishable by up to HK$1,000,000 and a maximum five-year prison sentence.