First person charged under Hong Kong’s new anti-doxing law
Hong Kong’s privacy watchdog has, for the first time, laid charges on a 31-year-old man under a new law criminalizing doxing.
The 31-year-old has been charged with four counts of disclosing personal data without consent, contrary to the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance.
These are the first charges in relation to the doxing offense since the Personal Data (Privacy) (Amendment) Ordinance 2021 came into effect in October last year.
The Chinese national was arrested in December last year after the Office of the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data received reports by the alleged victims accusing the suspect of posting their personal details to an online platform.
It was understood that the case is related to a monetary dispute between the suspect and the victims, with the personal data disclosed, including names, mobile phone numbers, occupations, residential addresses, and names of their employers.
Under the new laws, the privacy commissioner can carry out criminal investigations and initiate prosecutions for doxing.
In the first of the law’s two tiers, the unauthorized disclosure of a victim’s personal data – either with the intent to cause them “specified harm” or with reckless disregard for the possibility of harm – is punishable by up to two years in jail and a fine of HK$100,000.
Under the second tier, reserved for cases where such harm actually comes to pass, those penalties increase to a maximum of five years in jail and a HK$1 million fine.