NPC deputy proposes a national data security law for information sovereignty Published: 2020/5/24 21:21:54

A villager scans the QR code to register his health condition in Tianmushan town, Hangzhou of East China’s Zhejiang Province on Feb 15, 2020. Photo: cnsphotos

China should speed up the process of setting up a national data security law so as to strengthen the protection over personal privacy and establish a mechanism that guarantees China's data sovereignty facing global competition, Zheng Jie, a deputy to the National People's Congress (NPC), China's top legislative body, proposed during the ongoing two sessions.

Zheng is also the chairman of Zhejiang Mobile, the local branch of China Mobile - one of China's main three mobile carriers - in East China's Zhejiang Province. 

"China's big data industry is booming, especially in the combat against the coronavirus outbreak where big data plays a key role in epidemic prevention. But the wide application has also created a new series of issues that pose challenges to data security," Zheng told the Global Times over the weekend. 

For example, the risks of personal data being leaked and abused are building up, according to Zheng. And that's why China needs a detailed data security law to regulate how sensitive personal information such as human faces and fingerprints should be collected. 

A national law will also provide a beacon based on which regulators could crack down on criminal activities that infringe on personal privacy and punish those illegal activities accordingly. 

Zheng also stressed that as global data competition heated up, a data security law could also help supervise the flow of important data and safeguard China's data sovereignty right.

"The US law said that the US has data sovereignty on the markets acquired by American companies, no matter what countries they provided service. The EU regulation also stipulates that every company that provides services and products to EU citizens are subjected to the general data protection rule. We will be put in a disadvantageous position if we don't establish such a mechanism soon," Zheng stressed. 


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