China is going to pass laws for the first time to protect citizens’ data better. But the government itself will not be able to monitor citizens any less.
It is part of a kind of civil code that is currently being discussed at an annual meeting of parliament. It states, according to a preliminary version, that an individual has a right to privacy and that his or her personal information must be protected.
That is, data collectors have to protect that data, and they shouldn’t just collect, share, or sell that data without permission, Reuters said.
This seems obvious, but it is not the case in China.
Therefore, in the event of data breaches, or criminal offences resulting from stolen personal data, it is difficult to hold companies accountable or to stop them from reselling specific data.
Legislation under construction is a step in that direction and a way to maintain the balance between a growing online sector and the protection of 1.4 billion inhabitants.
For the sake of clarity, the future rules do not relate to the Chinese government itself. China itself is closely monitoring its citizens and may continue to do so under stricter privacy laws.