Date
21 September 2017
Privacy Commissioner Allan Chiang (second from left) says certain aspects of social media are difficult to regulate because of concerns over free speech. Photo: HKEJ
Privacy Commissioner Allan Chiang (second from left) says certain aspects of social media are difficult to regulate because of concerns over free speech. Photo: HKEJ

Online privacy complaints soaring

Complaints about internet-related privacy abuse have more than doubled in the past year, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data said.

The increase prompted authorities to warn netizens to ensure they use secure channels when uploading personal information online, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported Wednesday.

Hacking incidents were prevalent during the pro-democracy protests last year, the report said.

However, only one of 28 complaints has moved to the next level but no legal action has been taken.

Authorities received 18 complaints regarding a leaked address involving student leader Joshua Wong. The leak was perpetrated by a property agent.

The total number of complaints fell 5 percent to 1,702 from the previous year.

Privacy Commissioner Allan Chiang said shared personal information, if not deleted right away, becomes public.

He said people could copy this information in a second and make it part of their records.

The commission is studying the possibility of prohibiting cross-border transfer of personal information.

However, Chiang said certain aspects of social media are difficult to regulate because of concerns over freedom of speech.

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VW/MY/RA

Freelance journalist

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