Hong Kong’s privacy watchdog is investigating several cases of doxxing of security personnel working at a Legislative Council House Committee meeting that ended in scuffles on Friday.
The Office of the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data found five links on social media that revealed personal details about the staff, it said on Sunday. The linked information also revealed private details about the workers’ family members, with online users wishing harm on their spouses and children, according to the office.
“The privacy commissioner strongly condemns such despicable online weaponisation of personal data, which exposes victims, particularly those performing duties, to pressure and fear,” it said.
However, no complaints have been lodged by any of the personnel involved.
The links were posted after the committee meeting led to clashes between pro-establishment and opposition lawmakers over whether the session should be led by incumbent chairwoman Starry Lee Wai-king. The legislature’s security guards escorted her to the chairperson’s seat and they formed a human wall around her. Later, 11 opposition lawmakers were thrown out of the meeting.
The committee – which scrutinises bills and decides when they are put to a final vote – has failed to elect a chair since October. Opposition lawmaker Dennis Kwok, previously its deputy chairman, has presided over the meetings, as Lee seeks re-election.
The watchdog said it would urge the people who posted the links to stop immediately and ask the social media platforms to take the posts down. Cases with enough evidence would be sent to the police for possible investigation.
Doxxing is a criminal offence under the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance and any person found guilty of the charge can be subject to a fine of HK$1 million (US$129,000) and five years in jail.
The commissioner also cited an injunction order from the High Court that bars people from wilfully sharing or publishing material or information for the purposes of promoting or inciting the use or threat of violence, and said it would refer any cases of suspected violations to the Department of Justice.
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