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Online Personal Information Protection

On December 28, 2012, the Decision regarding Strengthening the Protection of Internet Information (the “Decision”) was passed by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, which took effect on the same date.



Q: What are the Decision mainly prohibit?


A: The Decision clearly prohibits any organizations or individuals from obtaining citizen’s electronic information via theft or other illegal means, as well as prohibits them from selling or illegally providing the information to others.



Q: How to collect and utilize the Personal Information?


A: Network service providers and other service-related companies shall, in consistence with the principle of legality, legitimacy and necessity, explicitly state their purposes, methods and scopes when collecting and using personal electronic information; such collection and use shall receive permissions from information providers that are subject to laws, regulations and mutual agreements.



Relevant rules concerning the collection and utilization of personal information shall be released by network service providers and other service-related companies. Meanwhile, the Decision bans such institutions from disclosing, altering or damaging collected information, as well as from selling or illegally providing it to others.



Q: How to protect the safety of collected Personal Information?


A: The Decision specifies that network service providers and other service-related companies shall take necessary steps, including but not limited to technical measures to ensure the safety of collected information and avoid any further disclosure, damage or loss. Countermeasures must be adopted immediately when any above-mentioned incidence happens. Service providers are required to promptly stop the transmission of prohibited information once the illegality occurs in order to strengthen the management of collected information, keep records of eliminations of prohibited information and report to upper level authority.



Q: How to protect Personal Privacy?


A: Citizens who discover his/her personal identity and privacy disclosed and spread in public with no permission, or other infringements occurred upon his/her legal rights involving online information, or being harassed by commercial electronic information have their legal rights to request network service providers to delete the related information or take other necessary measures to stop such infringements.



Q: What is the legal liability if violates the Decision?


A: Any violation of this law is subject to a warning, fine, confiscation of illegal income, license revocation, website shutdown, or permanent ban on engaging in web-related business in future, which would also be documented in social credit records and announced publicly. When such illegality constitutes a violation of public security, crime, and/or an infringement of civil right, the administrative penalty, criminal liability and/or civil liability should be imposed respectively.


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