1st Ld: China's legislature adopts online info rules to protect privacy
BEIJING, Dec 28, 2012 (Xinhua via COMTEX) --
The top legislature on Friday
approved rules to enhance the protection of personal information
online and safeguard public interests, requiring Internet users to
use real names to identify themselves to service providers when
signing web access agreements.
The decision on strengthening online information protection,
which has the same legal effect as a law, was adopted by lawmakers
at the closing meeting of a five-day session of the Standing
Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC).
The move is meant to "ensure Internet information security,
safeguard the lawful rights and interests of citizens, legal
entities or other organizations and safeguard national security
and social public interests," according to the decision.
The 12-article decision includes an identity management policy
requiring Internet users to use their real names to identify
themselves to service providers, including Internet or
"Network service providers will ask users to provide genuine
identification information when signing agreements to grant them
access to the Internet, fixed-line telephone or mobile devices or
to allow users to post information publicly," the decision says.
Network service providers will strengthen management of
information released by users, the decision says.
Service providers are required to instantly stop the
transmission of illegal information once it is spotted and take
relevant measures, including removing the information and saving
records, before reporting to supervisory authorities, the decision
It empowers supervising departments to take technical and other
necessary measures to prevent, stop or punish those who infringe
on online privacy, requiring relevant service providers to give
support during investigations.
Citizens who find network information that discloses their
identity or infringes upon their own rights, as well as those who
suffer harassment from promotional messages, have the right to
demand service providers to delete related information or take
other necessary measures to stop such practices, it says.
The decision says authorities will protect digital information
that could be used to determine the identity of a user or that
concerns a user's privacy.
It bans any organizations and individuals from obtaining
people's personal digital information via theft or other illegal
means, as well as prohibits them from selling or illegally
providing the information to others.
Violators can face penalties, including the confiscation of
illegal gains, license revocations and website closures, as well
as a ban on engaging in the web-related business in the future,
according to the decision.
The decision also specifies norms and duties for network
service providers regarding the collection, use and protection of
citizen's personal digital information.
Service providers will explicitly state their goals, means and
scope when collecting or using information, release related rules
and obtain owners' consent before obtaining the information.
Network service providers and other government-sponsored
institutions and companies should strictly ensure the privacy of
personal digital information, it says.
The decision bans service providers, as well as government
agencies and their personnel, from leaking or damaging users'
digital information, as well as from selling or illegally
providing this information to others.
Network service providers are also responsible for taking
measures to ensure the safety of information during business
activities and adopt countermeasures when information is leaked,
damaged or lost, it says.
To tackle surging public complaints regarding spam messages,
the decision bans any organization and individuals from sending
commercial digital information to fixed-line phones, mobile phones
or personal email addresses without consent.
The decision also encourages the public to report illegal
activity involving online information to supervisory departments.
[ InfoTech Spotlight's Homepage ]