Google in Manhattan.
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Google said it provided user data to Hong Kong’s local government last year. After Hong Kong passed a restrictive national security law in 2020, the company stopped responding to data requests from Hong Kong. Google has provided data that it complies with the Terms of Service, which allows for emergency exceptions. See other articles on Insider’s business page.
Hong Kong Free Press first reported that Google sent user data to Hong Kong authorities in late 2020 after promising to stop processing data requests from foreign governments.
Hong Kong officials sent 43 user information requests to Google last year, according to the company’s transparency report. Google has created data for three requests.
One request included disclosure of information by a credible threat to someone’s life. The other two requests included an investigation into trafficking and were supported by a warrant signed by a government justice of the peace. Globally applicable company terms and conditions allow Google to provide information in such cases.
In accordance with Google’s policy regarding user data requests, companies are allowed to provide user metadata such as name, associated email, phone number, IP address, and billing information.
Last July, China unilaterally passed a drastic but vague national security law for individuals and businesses in Hong Kong, banning all forms of external forces that China considers “separation, destruction, terrorism, and collusion.” bottom.
Chinese authorities have used destructive charges in the past to detain dissidents. Those who undermine the Chinese government in these ways can maximize life imprisonment.
The law has hit Hong Kong’s democratic movement hard and has sparked city-wide protests from residents and democratic activists who saw it as a clear infringement of civil liberties. China also established the formal presence of the mainland national security agency in Hong Kong for the first time in Hong Kong’s history as part of the law.
A week after the law was passed, Google and other major U.S.-based tech companies such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn announced that they would stop processing data requests from Hong Kong after further valuing the law. Did. Google later cut off its relationship with Hong Kong regarding data requests.
Google said some foreign governments may request data through courts or diplomatic channels, such as Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT). This will allow more than one country to exchange information during a criminal investigation. The tech giant says it will review all requests and push back requests that could compromise your privacy.
Exceptions to the three cases were outside the scope of the MLAT protocol, but Google stated that these requests were processed in accordance with the company’s global standards and procedures.
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