Facebook, Google and Twitter are threatening to leave Hong Kong due to changes in privacy laws

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Technical companies already are in contrast to the Hong Kong government, and that tension seems to be growing. The Wall Street Journal there is learned that the Asian Internet Coalition, a technology alliance that includes Facebook, Google and Twitter, has quietly warned Hong Kong that companies will cease operations in the territory if officials move forward with changes to data protection laws that may hold companies accountable. doxxing campaigns.

The technical giants are concerned that staff could face criminal investigations or even charges if users share personal information online, even if it meant no harm. That would be a “completely disproportionate and unnecessary response” and could cool freedom of speech, the Coalition wrote. The Alliance has instead suggested that Hong Kong narrow the scope of violations.

The Hong Kong Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data acknowledged the existence of the letter, but said new measures were needed after docking pushed the “boundaries of morality and law.” The commissioner also insisted that the amended laws “will have no impact” on freedom of speech and will not deter foreign investment in the Hong Kong region.

The amendments could be approved by the end of the legislative year.

As you can imagine, there are concerns that pro-Chinese officials might abuse the updated laws to silence the disagreement. Pro-democracy activists often docked police officers and others during protests in 2019, and there are concerns that revised laws could be drafted simply enough that simply sharing a photo of someone in public could lead to problems for both shareholders and the technology company. It could be harder to answer police for violence or criticize officials for anti-democratic policies.

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