Digital Privacy at Issue in Hong Kong Protests

June 17, 2019

In the midst of widespread protests in Hong Kong over a proposed law for extradition, several news organizations have noted that protesters have purchased transportation services in cash rather than use the contactless payment Octopus card. Each Octopus card has a unique serial number and stores transaction records. The Octopus cards are also used for school attendance and building access. The card easily tracks the location of users. The Octopus card was the subject of privacy investigations back in 2010. EPIC has long argued that government data collection programs can stifle freedom of expression and association. EPIC presented the 2019 Champion of Freedom award to Dr. Sophie Richardson for the work of Human Rights Watch concerning surveillance in China.

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