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Legal Highlights

ALERT: Telecoms and Internet Users’ Personal Info will Soon be Protected under Special Provisions

2013.07.01

On April 10, 2013, Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of the People’s Republic of China (MIIT) published, for public consultation, a draft of the Provisions on the Protection of Personal Information of Telecommunication and Internet Users (Consultation Draft) (“the Provisions”), and specified the obligations and liabilities of Telecommunication Operators (“Operators”) and Internet Service Providers (“ISPs”) regarding collection and use of private users’ personal information.

  • What is Personal Information of Telecommunication and Internet Users?

  • Any information collected by Operators and ISPs during the operation of service that can individually or jointly identify the user of such service are protected by the Provisions, including but not limited to the user’s name, date of birth, ID number, address and service log.

  • What are the obligations and liabilities of the Operators and ISP?

  • Operators and ISPs shall formulate rules of collecting and using personal information and publish such rules in their websites. They shall not collect personal information without consent of the users, nor shall they collect information unnecessary for purpose of its provision of service. Operators, ISPs and their employees shall keep personal information confidential, and shall not disclose, misrepresent, damage, sell or illegally provide the personal information they collected in the service to any other party. Operators and ISPs who entrust other individuals or entities to provide service shall supervise and manage such trustees in the protection of personal information.

    Any Operator or ISP that violate the Provisions will be warned by Communication Authorities and may be subject to a fine of RMB 10,000 to RMB 30,000. For those who commit a crime, the Operators or ISPs may also bear criminal liability.