Hong Kong protests: Police show another reporter’s ID card on camera; privacy chief says incident will be investigated

A similar episode occurred in December when a reporter from Stand News had his ID card displayed in front of a live-streaming camera

Joanne Ma |
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A police officer shows a reporter’s ID card on live video in Tai Po.

Hong Kong’s privacy commissioner said his office would look into the incident of a police officer showing a reporter’s ID card on camera on Sunday.

While covering a rally at Chater Garden, a Stand News journalist was stopped and searched twice by police.

The first time, the journalist was on an assignment outside High Court where a water cannon and an armoured personnel carrier were on standby. He was surrounded by more than 10 riot police and ordered to show his ID card. While the journalist was filming his interaction with the police, a policeman held up the reporter’s ID card in front of the camera. 

Stand News later posted a blurred video of the incident on its Facebook page. The policeman could be seen pushing the reporter’s ID card closer to the camera as they spoke, eventually filling the entire screen.

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In Hong Kong, it is a criminal offence to disclose someone’s personal data without their consent.

Later that day, the reporter returned to the High Court area. Again, he was interrupted by the police  and ordered to stop filming. 

As seen in a live video posted by Stand News, the reporter said he was working, but a policeman told him: “Put down your camera, what should we do if your ID card was live-streamed online again?”

According to Stand News, another policeman tried to snatch the reporter’s phone away while he was recording the event, shattering the reporter’s phone screen in the process.

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In response to the event, Stephen Wong Kai-yi, the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data (PCPD), said  on Sunday that his office would look into the incident, and was already investigating a similar incident on December 26, dubbed the “Tai Po Mega Mall” incident.

In that incident, another reporter from Stand News, Ronson Chan, was live-streaming protests inside the Tai Po mall when a police officer approached him and displayed Chan’s ID on camera. 

Chan later told Young Post that the act was a breach of his privacy.

“Someone might use my personal details to borrow money, or sign me up to a lot of memberships that I don’t want nor need,” he said. 

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