China’s sweeping data privacy laws will target the misuse of private companies but leave government data abuse largely unchanged

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The news: The Chinese government is expected to pass one of the world’s toughest data privacy laws, which would limit the way private companies siphon personal information, according to the Wall Street Journal.

  • Called on Privacy Act, the proposed measure would be in its final review stage before being enacted.
  • Any individual or private company interacting with a Chinese user’s data should take steps to obtain prior consent first, then limit data collection in the future.
  • At the same time, regulators also released draft guidelines aimed at preventing companies from engaging in anti-competitive practices by prohibiting companies from adjusting prices based on a user’s purchase history, or by using data or algorithms to influence a user’s choice or access to competing services.

How we got here: If passed, the measures mark an important step in China’s swift crackdown on some of its largest and most influential tech companies, all in the name of consumer rights.

  • Chinese companies, and tech companies in particular, have had years of free will to grow, but now regulators have recently started to shorten their leash, reigning in companies they feel have grown too powerful.
  • Earlier this year, for example, Regulators fine Alibaba $ 2.8 billion for infringements of competition rules.
  • Shortly after, regulators ordered app stores to stop hosting the app for the transport giant. Have I got following allegations that the company was illegally collecting personal data.
  • To top it off, last month the Chinese government announced a six month campaign to regulate Internet companies for allegedly “disrupting market order,” according to Yahoo News.

What’s the catch? While the new Chinese rules may impose some of the world’s toughest data restrictions on private companies, those same standards won’t apply equally to the government’s own internet activities.

The country’s crackdown on allegedly invasive data collection efforts comes as human rights and civil liberties groups continually condemn the Chinese government for dystopian levels of state-backed digital surveillance, especially vulnerable groups such as Uyghur Muslim minority.

And while privacy protections in the United States and Europe generally apply to both the public and private sectors, the Chinese government attempts to use the Chinese public’s mistrust of large Internet companies to come out in favor. of consumers by cracking down on businesses while continuing its own intrusion. data practices, depending on Kendra Schaefer, a partner in a consulting firm based in Beijing China TriviumIn, by the Journal.

And after? Adopting the new privacy and anti-competitive measures could lead China to a more consolidated and unified future, where tech companies will work more closely to help the government meet its goals of becoming a global leader in technology. 5G, blockchain technologies, and other emerging technologies.

  • China already has the largest 5G network in the world, with estimates predicting that 5G mobile connections in China will almost increase tenfold between 2020 and 2025, according to an ABI study.
  • At the same time, the country is actively trying to establish global standards around blockchain technology. By severely limiting a company’s ability to grow and limiting privacy breaches, regulators can potentially steer Internet giants toward business practices more in line with the government’s proposed strategy.


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