Charles Mok is currently the director of tech for Good Asia. He was an internet entrepreneur before becoming a legislator representing the Information Technology sector in Hong Kong’s Legislative Council from 2012 to 2020. He writes:
Doxxing – exposing previously private personal information to the public without consent, often over the internet – has become a familiar but harmful and irreversible tactic by groups holding a grudge against one another. During the 2019 Hong Kong protests, both sides engaged in doxxing to inflict harms on the other: protesters against the police and their families, and pro-government supporters against the protesters and their supporters.
Doxxing is wrong and should not be heralded for any purpose. But, without clear safeguards allowing for the free flow of information, anti-doxxing laws may severely limit journalism, whistleblowing, and the public’s right to know. Equating privacy regulation with anti-doxxing alone, and ignoring everything else needed in a modern data protection regime, is just as irresponsible as doxxing itself. The government may only want to weaponize the privacy law to arm itself with yet another tool against expression of dissent, rather than genuinely protecting people’s privacy.
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