China passes one of the world’s strictest data-privacy laws

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FILE PHOTO: The Chinese national flag is seen in Beijing, China April 29, 2020. REUTERS/Thomas Peter/File Photo/File Photo

Image courtesy: Reuters

According to official media, China has enacted a new privacy law aimed at protecting users’ personal data. The new regulation comes as Chinese digital businesses face more scrutiny in the nation, and it establishes guidelines for how companies manage user data. The law will go into force on November 1st.

The law, formally known as the Personal Information Protection Law, was passed by China’s legislature on Friday, according to Reuters. It requires companies to obtain users’ consent before collecting personal data, and it specifies how companies must ensure users’ data is protected when it is transferred outside of China.

Personal information handled by technology firms must be overseen by a designated person, and organisations must perform frequent audits to ensure they are in compliance with the legislation.

Furthermore, firms that handle personal user data must have a clear and legitimate basis for doing so, and must limit their usage to the “minimum scope necessary to fulfil the goals” of processing said data from Rueters.

According to Reuters, the National People’s Congress praised the new legislation in an op-ed published in the Chinese state media source People’s Court Daily.

“Personalization is the result of a user’s choice, and true personalized recommendations must ensure the user’s freedom to choose, without compulsion,” the op-ed piece read. “Therefore, users must be given the right to not make use of personalized recommendation functions.”

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