The third reading of the Personal Data (Privacy) (Amendment) Bill 2021 was passed in the council this afternoon, listing doxxing – releasing the personal information of an individual or organization to the public – as a crime.

The bill empowers the Office of the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data to investigate relevant cases and sue offenders, as well as to remove doxxing content on local or overseas social media platforms.

Lawmaker Alice Mak Mei-kuen from the Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions said there used to be trust in the society and politicians would behave professionally regardless of their stands.

Yet there was no more order or self-discipline since the mass pro-democracy protests took place in 2019. In such case, stringent regulations and laws are necessary to take over control, she pointed out.

Another pro-establishment lawmaker Elizabeth Quat Pui-fan also recalled her personal experience, saying some people ordered takeaways, registered for Covid tests, or even registered for organ donation using her personal information. She expressed concerns that the information that went public can never be completely erased.

Quat suggested setting up a notification mechanism as well, saying the victims should be informed of their leaked personal information.

Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Erick Tsang Kwok-wai said the office will consider hiring experienced prosecutors to handle criminal investigation and prosecution. Staffers of the office may also be trained by police if necessary, he added.