The Privacy Commissioner on Saturday criticised the US Treasury Department for effectively doxxing Chief Executive Carrie Lam and ten other mainland and Hong Kong officials by publishing their addresses, identity card numbers and other personal data as it imposed sanctions on them for allegedly suppressing freedom in the SAR.
“The disclosure of the data of the persons concerned by the US Department of the Treasury is obviously excessive and unnecessary. It amounts to doxxing”, acting commissioner Tony Lam said in a statement.
He also urge the public not to improperly use or reproduce the released data, warning that it may be a crime to do so.
While the commissioner acknowledged that he has no extra-territorial powers, he noted that “data protection authorities in many jurisdictions have been advocating practising data ethics so as to address the inadequacies of the law and to meet the expectations of stakeholders, particularly those of the data subjects.”
“The act of the US Department of the Treasury is diametrically opposite to expectations on data ethics and we are completely disappointed.”
Lam said he would write to the US Consulate General here, the US Department of the Treasury and the Federal Trade Commission to express his disappointment over the release of the data.
Chief Executive Carrie Lam herself had earlier said the publication of her and the sanctioned officials' data may have violated human rights protections. However, she also mocked the US authorities for getting her address wrong, even though it’s public knowledge that she resides in Government House.
In a social media post, the CE had suggested that the Americans may have gotten her information from a visa application she had made back in 2016, without updating her address.
She had also said she would cancel her current visa, as she has no interest in visiting the United States.