Google Facebook and Twitter threaten to leave Hong Kong amid data protection law

Google Facebook and Twitter threaten to leave Hong Kong amid data protection law

The Wall Street Journal announced that three large media giants could leave Hong Kong at once if the authorities amend the data protection law. Among them are Google, Twitter and Facebook.

Companies are concerned that the changes in the law will bring their employees to criminal responsibility for doxing – the search and publication of personal data about a person without his consent. Doxing was widespread during the 2019 protests in the city.

If the authorities pass the bill, the violation of the law provides for a fine of up to one million Hong Kong dollars (about 130 thousand US dollars) and a prison term of up to 5 years. 

The only way for companies to avoid these sanctions would be to refrain from investing and providing services in Hong Kong.

In a letter to the Asian Internet Coalition (which includes Google, Twitter, Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Yahoo) it is noted that the bill may limit freedom of speech, but the Hong Kong authorities are confident in the opposite.

The bill could be approved by the end of the year.

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