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Media Statements

Media Statement

Date: 26 April 2022

The PCPD Made the Second Arrest For a Suspected Doxxing Offence

The Office of the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data (PCPD) today arrested a Chinese male aged 41 in New Territories West for suspected contravention of section 64(3A) of the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance (PDPO) relating to the offence of “disclosing personal data without consent”. The arrested person is suspected to have disclosed personal data of three data subjects without their consents on different social media platforms in December 2021. The PCPD seized one smartphone and one computer during the operation. The arrested person is currently under custody. The PCPD will continue its investigation into the case.

This is the second arrest made by the PCPD under the privacy law since its latest amendments came into operation in October 2021. The PCPD made the first arrest in relation to a doxxing offence under section 64(3A) in last December.
The Personal Data (Privacy) (Amendment) Ordinance 2021 was enacted last year to more effectively combat doxxing acts that are intrusive to personal data privacy, and the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data was empowered under the amendments to carry out criminal investigations and institute prosecutions.

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. The PDPO applies equally 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—
  1. with an intent to cause any specified harm to the data subject or any family member of the data subject; or
  2. 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
  1. harassment, molestation, pestering, threat or intimidation to the person;
  2. bodily harm or psychological harm to the person;
  3. harm causing the person reasonably to be concerned for the person’s safety or well-being; or
  4. damage to the property of the person.