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Media Statements

Media Statement

Date: 2 September 2022

A 31-year-old Chinese Male Arrested For a Suspected Doxxing Offence

The Office of the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data (PCPD) today arrested a Chinese male aged 31 in New Territories North. He was suspected to have disclosed the personal data of a data subject (the complainant) without his consent, in contravention of section 64(3A) of the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance (PDPO).

The investigation reveals that the arrested person and the complainant were former co-workers of a company, whose relationship subsequently turned sour because of performance at work, which ultimately led to the dismissal of the arrested person by the company. Later in mid-October 2021, personal data of the complainant, including his Chinese name, mobile phone number, name of his residential estate, name of employer, along with information on the past deeds of the complainant, were posted on a social media platform.

 
The arrested person is granted bail. The PCPD will continue its investigation into the case.

The PCPD reminds members of the public that doxxing is a serious offence. An offender is liable on conviction to a fine up to $1,000,000 and imprisonment for 5 years. The PDPO applies equally to the online world. To avoid breaking the law, members of the public should think twice before publishing or forwarding any doxxing messages 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—
 
(a) with an intent to cause any specified harm to the data subject or any family member of the data subject; or
(b) 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.
 
Pursuant to section 64(3C) of the PDPO, a person commits an offence if—
 
(a) the person discloses any personal data of a data subject without the relevant consent of the data subject—
(i) with an intent to cause any specified harm to the data subject or any family member of the data subject; or
(ii) 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; and
(b) the disclosure causes any specified harm to the data subject or any family member of the data subject.
 
A person who commits an offence under section 64(3C) is liable on conviction on indictment to a fine of $1,000,000 and imprisonment for 5 years.
 
According to section 64(6) of the PDPO, specified harm in relation to a person means—
 
(a) harassment, molestation, pestering, threat or intimidation to the person;
(b) bodily harm or psychological harm to the person;
(c) harm causing the person reasonably to be concerned for the person’s safety or well-being; or
(d) damage to the property of the person.
 
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