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

A letter has been sent by a group representing the tech industry, highlighting the dangers of Hong Kong's anti-doxxing rules.The Asia Internet Coalition, which includes Google, Apple, and Facebook, sent the letter to Hong Kong's privacy commissioner. It argued that the new measures would have a severe impact on Hong Kong's due process and could lead to major US tech companies ceasing their operations in Hong Kong. The Wall Street Journal first received the letter.These sanctions can be avoided by technology companies if they refrain from offering their services in Hong Kong.This letter is in response to a series of amendments to Hong Kong's Personal Data (Privacy Ordinance) (PDPO), which were proposed by the privacy commissioner to address concerns about online doxxing. The amendments, once in force, would require quick compliance with any government takedown orders. However, the bill's ambiguous language has raised concerns that tech employees may be prosecuted as individuals if this happens.The letter states that imposing severe sanctions on individuals and personal liability for assessing requests to take down content has the effect of encouraging online platforms not to review requests or to block content. These sanctions can be avoided by technology companies who refrain from offering their services or investing in Hong Kong.This letter raises questions about the future for employees of US tech companies in Hong Kong. The Journal estimates that Google and Twitter alone have hundreds of employees in Hong Kong. All of them could be affected by the new legislation. The Asia Internet Coalition also includes Rakuten, Apple, Yahoo, and Yahoo.After years of increasing pressure on civil liberties in Hong Kong and the central Chinese government seeking to have more control over its politics, the new amendments were made. After the passing of a new security bill, Google, Facebook, and Twitter stopped all data production requests until the law could be revised. TikTok, which does not operate in China, has stopped all operations in the city.