Date: 13 December 2021
The PCPD Made the First Arrest For a Suspected Doxxing Offence
The Personal Data (Privacy) (Amendment) Ordinance 2021 (Amendment Ordinance) came into effect on 8 October to more effectively combat doxxing acts that are intrusive to personal data privacy, and the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data (Privacy Commissioner) was empowered under the Amendment Ordinance to carry out criminal investigations and institute prosecutions.
Today (13 December), the Office of the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data (PCPD) arrested a Chinese male aged 31 in the West Kowloon region for a suspected contravention of section 64(3A) of the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance (PDPO) relating to “disclosing personal data without consent”. The act originated from a money dispute. The PCPD seized one smartphone during the operation. The arrested person is under custody. The PCPD will continue its investigation into the case.
This is the first arrest made by the PCPD under the Amendment Ordinance.
The PCPD reminds members of the public that contravening section 64(3A) of the PDPO is a serious crime. An offender is liable on conviction to a fine up to $100,000 and imprisonment for 2 years. Members of the public are reminded not to break the law. The Amendment Ordinance also applies to the online world. To avoid breaking the law, members of the public should think twice before publishing or re-posting any message that appears to be a doxxing message on the internet or social media.
Relevant provisions under the PDPO
Pursuant to section 64(3A) of the PDPO, a person commits an offence if the person discloses any personal data of a data subject without the relevant consent of the data subject—
with an intent to cause any specified harm to the data subject or any family member of the data subject; or
being reckless as to whether any specified harm would be, or would likely be, caused to the data subject or any family member of the data subject.
A person who commits an offence under section 64(3A) is liable on conviction to a fine of $100,000 and imprisonment for 2 years.
According to section 64(6) of the PDPO, specified harm in relation to a person means—
harassment, molestation, pestering, threat or intimidation to the person;
bodily harm or psychological harm to the person;
harm causing the person reasonably to be concerned for the person’s safety or well-being; or
damage to the property of the person.