Date: 1 February 2023
Conviction Secured for 36-year Old Female in
a Doxxing Case Relating to Monetary Dispute
The Shatin Magistrates’ Court today (1 February 2023) convicted a 36-year old female, Ms SHAM Chun-kiu (defendant), of 14 charges of doxxing offence upon her guilty plea. Earlier in December 2022, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data (PCPD) laid 14 charges of “disclosing personal data without consent”, contrary to section 64(3A) of the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance (PDPO), against the defendant and she pleaded guilty today to all the charges relating to the disclosure of the personal data of the victim and her husband in 14 groups on a social media platform in December 2021. The defendant made the disclosures without the consents of the victim and her husband, with an intent to cause specified harm to them or their family members, or being reckless as to whether specified harm would be, or would likely be, caused to them or any of their family members.
This is the third conviction under the new anti-doxxing regime which took effect on 8 October 2021.
Background of the Case
The defendant was an online trader and the victim was her supplier. Their business relationship turned sour because of a monetary dispute. In December 2021, the defendant disclosed the personal data of the victim and her husband in 14 groups on a social media platform, which also contained allegations about fraudulent behaviour. The personal data disclosed included the Chinese names and photos of the victim and her husband, and the phone number of the victim. The PCPD arrested the defendant on 26 July 2022. Upon legal advice obtained from the Department of Justice, a total of 14 charges were laid against her on 7 December 2022 in respect of the doxxing acts.
Today’s court Proceedings
In today’s court hearing (1 February 2023) at the Shatin Magistrates’ Court, the defendant pleaded guilty to and was convicted of all 14 charges. The court adjourned the case to 8 March for sentence, pending the acquisition of relevant report(s). The defendant was granted bail pending sentence
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.