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Media Statements

Media Statement

Date: 24 November 2022

A 48-year-old Chinese Male Arrested for a Suspected Doxxing Offence Relating to Part-time Worker Dispute

The Office of the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data (PCPD) today arrested a Chinese male aged 48 in New Territories North. 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 the victim is a part-time worker and the arrested person is a sourcing agent of part-time workers for different employers. The arrested person used to arrange part-time jobs for the victim at different restaurants. In October 2022, a dispute arose between the victim and the arrested person in relation to her salary payment and job allocation. Thereafter, messages containing the personal data of the victim were disclosed to others using an instant messaging application, with a remark stating that the victim would never be hired again. The personal data disclosed included the victim’s Chinese name, English name and mobile phone number. A partly redacted copy of the victim’s Hong Kong Identity Card showing particulars including her Chinese name, English name, Hong Kong Identity Card number, gender and photo were also disclosed.
 
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. In particular, identity cards contain sensitive personal data.  Disclosing or forwarding copies of identity cards on the internet or social media platforms without the consent of the data subject concerned, either arbitrarily or maliciously, may constitute a doxxing offence. An offender is liable on conviction to a fine up to $1,000,000 and imprisonment for 5 years.
 
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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