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Google gave user data to Hong Kong officials despite moratorium promise

Google vowed that it will not instantly reply to Hong Kong authorities’ data requests after the Chinese authorities imposed a safety regulation in June 2020, but it surely seems the company made a handful of exceptions. The Hong Kong Free Press reports Google offered “some data” for 3 out of 43 requests from Hong Kong authorities within the second half of 2020. One was for an emergency the place life was in danger, whereas one other two involved human trafficking.

The web agency harassed that neither of the trafficking requests have been linked to nationwide safety, and have been backed by signed search warrants in addition to Google’s worldwide coverage on requests. None of the three handovers concerned content material. However, in addition they weren’t made below a treaty with the US Justice Department that Google stated could be vital for requests going ahead.

The responses aren’t fully sudden. Attempts to pursue circumstances by means of the treaty might take months. It simply would not be sensible to feed pressing, non-security requests by means of that system.

Nonetheless, this illustrates the issues Google and different tech giants (together with Facebook and Twitter) have whereas attempting to disengage with China over the safety regulation and, extra lately, privateness regulation modifications. While the businesses can stall requests, an absolute refusal to comply could also be troublesome with out leaving Hong Kong completely.

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