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Media Statement - Privacy Commissioners Office Laid Charges in a Doxxing Case

Date: 7 December 2022

Privacy Commissioner’s Office Laid Charges in a Doxxing Case

The Office of the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data (PCPD) today laid a total of 14 charges against a Chinese female aged 36 (defendant) for “disclosing personal data without consent”, contrary to section 64(3A) of the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance (PDPO). The case will have its first mention at the Shatin Magistrates’ Court in the morning of 12 December 2022. The defendant is presently on bail.
This is the fourth case where charges were laid under the new anti-doxxing regime which came into operation in October 2021.
Background of the case
The investigation revealed that the defendant was an online trader and the victim was her supplier. Their business relationship later turned sour because of a monetary dispute. In December 2021, the personal data of the victim and her husband was disclosed in about 14 groups on a social media platform, together with allegations about fraudulent behaviour. The personal data disclosed included the Chinese names, phone number and photos of the victim and her husband. The PCPD arrested the defendant on 26 July 2022.
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.
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.