It turned out that Google was passing data of some users at the request of the Hong Kong government, and it was pointed out that it contradicts the previous announcement
Hong Kong National Security Law came into effect on July 1, 2020, strengthening the crackdown on anti-government activities. In response, major IT companies such as Google and Facebook showed a repulsive stance and said that they would stop handing over user data to the Hong Kong government, but 'Google was done by the Hong Kong government from July to December 2020. We handed over user data in response to three of the requests. '
In Hong Kong, the
Google handed user data to Hong Kong authorities despite pledge after security law was enacted --Hong Kong Free Press HKFP
Google Complies With Hong Kong Data Requests After Vowing Not To
The Hong Kong National Security Law is a security agency under the direct control of the Chinese government in Hong Kong, which is subject to crackdowns on acts of overthrowing Hong Kong, collusion with foreign powers intervening in Hong Kong, and acts of inciting hatred toward the Chinese government and the Hong Kong government. It stipulates the establishment of a national security maintenance public office. This has been criticized for disrupting the one country, two systems system that has guaranteed freedom of speech in Hong Kong, and major IT companies such as Google, Facebook, and Twitter have expressed opposition. He said he would stop providing user data to the Hong Kong government.
Google, Facebook, and Twitter oppose Hong Kong National Security Law and refuse to request data from Hong Kong government-GIGAZINE
In August 2020, Google announced that it would no longer provide user data directly to the Hong Kong government, and has informed Hong Kong police authorities that it will respond to requests for data disclosure through the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty with the United States. That thing.
Google discontinues direct data provision to Hong Kong authorities With enforcement of National Security Law: Nihon Keizai Shimbun
However, Hong Kong Free Press (HKFP) , a non-profit news site based in Hong Kong, said on September 11, 2021, 'Google will be in July-December 2020 after the Hong Kong National Security Law came into effect. Of the 43 requests received from the Hong Kong government, we provided user data in response to three. '
In response to HKFP's inquiry, Google said that of the three requests for providing user data, one was a reliable urgent disclosure request for life threats and two were involved in human trafficking. Explains. These three requests were not through the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty, but Google's global policy states that urgent disclosure requests regarding life threats do not need to go through the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty.
The three data Google provided to the Hong Kong government did not include user content data. According to Google's policy , it may provide government agencies with information such as usernames, related email addresses, phone numbers, IP addresses, billing information, time stamps related to logins and comments, email headers, etc. It is said that there is. In addition, Google may notify targeted users of government requests by email, but did not respond to HKFP's inquiries as to whether or not they were notified of the three requests in response to this request.
In a transparency report released in June, Facebook said that the Hong Kong government rejected all 202 requests for user data in the second half of 2020, and Twitter also rejected one in the second half of 2020. He said he did not respond to the request from the Hong Kong government. Apple and Microsoft have not announced whether they have responded to requests during this period.
Google has stated that it still requires HKFP to go through diplomatic proceedings for most of the Hong Kong government's requests, including those related to Hong Kong National Security Law. But online privacy and security expert Eric Fan pointed out that Google's announcement was inconsistent with the official 2020 statement, and it's surprising that it doesn't even explain why it didn't comply.