Personal Data (Privacy) (Amendment) Bill 2021

The Criminal Law and Procedure Committee and the Working Party on Data Privacy and Records Management have reviewed the Personal Data (Privacy) (Amendment) Bill 2021 (the “Amendment Bill”) and jointly prepared a letter to the Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Bureau. The letter acknowledged the problem of doxxing. While it was agreed that the present provisions of the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance (Cap. 486) were not able to robustly deal with the crime of doxxing, and that relevant amendments were required, with respect to the Amendment Bill, there were issues that needed to be carefully considered. The most serious concern with the Amendment Bill was that, apparently, it took away the right of an accused to remain silent. Apart from this fundamental issue, there were also problems with the use of various concepts and matters proposed in the Amendment Bill (such as the concepts of “recklessness” and “likely”, the lack of a definition for “psychological harm” and generally the way that “harm” was defined in the Amendment Bill). Other concerns such as freedom of expression and decryption of electronic devices were also broached.

The above letter was endorsed by Council, and a copy appears at https://www.hklawsoc.org.hk/-/media/HKLS/pub_e/news/submissions/2021081…