Google Gave Consumer Knowledge to Hong Kong Government Closing 12 months

  • Google stated it gave consumer information to native government in Hong Kong remaining 12 months.
  • The corporate stopped responding to information requests from Hong Kong after town handed a restrictive nationwide safety regulation in 2020.
  • Google supplied the information pronouncing it saved to its Phrases of Carrier, which permits an exception in instances of emergencies.

Google despatched consumer information to Hong Kong officers within the latter part of 2020 after it promised to prevent processing information requests from international governments, the Hong Kong Free Press first reported.

Hong Kong officers despatched Google 43 requests for consumer data remaining 12 months, consistent with the corporate’s transparency record. Google produced information responding to 3 of the requests.

One request concerned data disclosure because of a reputable danger to somebody’s lifestyles. The opposite two requests concerned an investigation into human trafficking and had been supported by means of a warrant signed by means of a central authority Justice of the Peace. In keeping with the corporate’s Terms of Service, which applies globally, Google is authorized to supply data in such instances. 

In keeping with Google’s policies on user data requests, the corporate is authorized to supply customers’ metadata, together with names, related emails, telephone numbers, IP addresses, and billing data.

Closing July, China unilaterally handed sweeping but vague national security laws for people and companies in Hong Kong that banned all sorts of what China deems “secession, subversion, terrorism, and collusion” with outdoor powers.

Chinese authorities have used subversion charges in the past to detain dissidents. Individuals who undermine the Chinese language executive in those techniques may just raise the utmost sentence of lifestyles in jail. 

The regulation dealt a huge blow to Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement and sparked citywide protests from citizens and pro-democracy activists who noticed it as a transparent violation in their civil liberties. China additionally established a proper presence of mainland nationwide safety companies in Hong Kong for the primary time within the town’s historical past as a part of the regulation.

Every week after the regulation was once handed, Google and several other US-based tech giants, together with Fb, Twitter, and LinkedIn, introduced they might halt processing information requests from Hong Kong upon additional evaluate of the regulation. Google later cut ties with Hong Kong in regards to data requests.

Google stated some international governments may ask it for information, both in the course of the courts or diplomatic channels, like a mutual legal assistance treaty (MLAT), which permits two or extra international locations to interchange data all over felony investigations. The tech massive says it opinions all requests and pushes again on those who may just infringe on consumer privateness.

The 3 case exceptions fell outdoor the MLAT protocol, however Google stated the ones requests had been processed consistent with the corporate’s world requirements and procedures.

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