HK leader defends privacy law changes

Hong Kong's leader Carrie Lam has responded to a warning that Facebook, Google and other tech firms would have to stop offering services in the city- if privacy laws there change.

Lam said Tuesday the proposed changes will only target 'illegal behavior.'

She singled out "doxxing", the sharing of people's personal data without their consent.

During the city's 2019 anti-government protests, police were doxxed - when their details were released online.

In late June, the the Asia Internet Coalition, which counts Facebook Google and Apple as members, issued a letter to Hong Kong officials.

They argue changes to privacy laws in Hong Kong could see individuals hit with 'severe sanctions ' but gave no further details.

Lam responded to reporter questions over that anxiety.

"Our amendment exercise targets illegal doxxing behaviour and empowers government officials to take action and carry out investigations. If an online platform is concerned about the privacy law, government officials will be happy to meet with them to listen to their concerns."

She also expressed dismay at some residents mourning the death of a 50-year-old who stabbed a policeman before killing himself on July 1.

That day marked the anniversary of the former British colony's return to Chinese rule and the Chinese Communist Party's 100-year anniversary.

Also on Tuesday, Lam said that "ideologies" posed risks to national security and urged parents, teachers and religious leaders to observe the behavior of teenagers and report those who break the law to the authorities.

Since China imposed a sweeping national security law year the most prominent government opponents have been jailed or have fled abroad.

Critics say the legislation has crushed the city's wide-ranging rights and freedoms, while supporters say it has restored stability.

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