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Media Statements

Media Statement

Date: 27 October 2022

A 36-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 36 in New Territories South. He was suspected to have disclosed the personal data of a data subject without her consent, in contravention of section 64(3A) of the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance (PDPO).
 
The investigation revealed that rental disputes arose between the victim’s parents and the arrested person when the victim, a university student, lived with her parents in an apartment rented from the arrested person as the landlord. Subsequently, in February 2022, two messages containing the personal data of the victim and some negative comments and allegations about the victim’s parents were posted in a chat group on a social media platform. The personal data disclosed included the victim’s English name, her photo, the university courses and the year in which she enrolled.
 
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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