Facebook, Google and Twitter threaten to leave Hong Kong over privacy law changes

The tension between tech companies and the Hong Kong government is already high. According to The Wall Street Journal, the Asia Internet Coalition (a tech alliance that includes Google, Facebook and Twitter) has warned Hong Kong that it would not allow companies to operate in the territory if they do not approve data protection laws that could make them liable for any doxxing campaigns.Tech giants worry that employees could be subject to criminal investigation or even prosecution if they share personal information online. The Coalition stated that this would be an "utterly disproportionate and unneeded response" and could discourage free speech. Instead, the alliance suggested that Hong Kong limit the violations.The Hong Kong Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data acknowledged receipt of the letter, but stated that new measures were required after doxxing had pushed the boundaries of morality as well as the law. The Commissioner insisted that the new laws would not affect freedom of speech and won't discourage investment from outside the Hong Kong region.These amendments may be approved before the end of the legislative calendar.As you can see, the concern is that pro-China officials could abuse the new laws to silence dissent. Pro-democracy activists didxxed police officers and other protestors during the 2019 demonstrations. There's also a concern that the revised laws might be written loosely so that sharing a photograph of someone in public spaces could land both tech companies and sharers in serious trouble. It may be more difficult to hold police responsible for violence or criticize them for their anti-democratic policies.