Google reportedly gave some users’ data to Hong Kong authorities in 2020

Google provided some user data to the government of Hong Kong last year, despite promising it would not process such data requests from authorities, according to the Hong Kong Free Press. The company told the news outlet it “produced some data” in response to three of the 43 requests it received from Hong Kong’s government. Two of the requests had to do with investigations into human trafficking and included search warrants, and a third was an emergency disclosure as part of a credible threat to someone’s life, HKFP reported.

The company told HKFP that none of the three responses included users’ content data.

Last August, Google said it would stop responding to data requests from Hong Kong’s government, unless the requests were made in cooperation with the US Department of Justice. The move was in response to a new Hong Kong national security law imposed by China, which included a possible sentence of life in prison for people found guilty of subversion. China has used subversion charges to detain political protesters and dissidents in the Chinese mainland. Facebook and Twitter also halted the processing of data requests from Hong Kong’s government in response to the security law.