Internet giants urge data sharing, security before two sessions
Published: Mar 03, 2021 08:48 PM

Data protection Illustration: VCG

Data protection Illustration: VCG

Entrepreneurs from China's internet giants, who are serving as deputies to the National People's Congress (NPC) or members of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), put forward suggestions on promoting data sharing while ensuring the security of sensitive data and personal privacy, ahead of the annual two sessions.

In a proposal sent to the Global Times on Wednesday, Baidu CEO and CPPCC member Robin Li Yanhong suggested enhancing internet platform data sharing, while giving netizens convenient access to information.

In the mobile internet era, many sectors -- including e-commerce, social media, car hailing and online food ordering -- have led to a large quantity of apps. Each app requires lots of human resources, material and capital, but its information is only available to its registered users for some time, so it will evolve into an "isolated island of information," Li said.

Given the situation, Li proposed that relevant authorities select fields related to people's access to information services for pilot programs, such as news, and build information sharing mechanisms among different internet platforms, break down the existing "information barriers", and promote the free flow of information and knowledge. 

Data sharing and the security supervision of internet platforms should be enhanced, and information quality on each platform should be evaluated.

Zhang Jindong, an NPC deputy and board chairman of Suning Holdings Group, suggested gradually promoting free sharing of public data. However, in the process, clear standards and measures must be implemented by establishing a safe and open sharing mechanism. 

Since the overall data market spans many fields such as big data, cloud computing, the internet and artificial intelligence, issues such as decentralized data ownership, inconsistent data standards, and data closed loops still confront market entities, Zhang pointed out.

He proposed strengthened the top-level design. Also, a data governance committee should be established as the leading organization for data resource sharing management, plus a national data sharing platform, which would help to break down data barriers, promote cross-regional and cross-industry interconnection, and achieve efficient data integration and sharing.

The smooth flow of shared data will inevitably amplify the risk of cyber-attacks. Zhou Hongyi, a CPPCC member and chairman of internet security services provider Qihoo 360 Technology, suggested the establishment of a national-level distributed cyber security "brain" to improve collaborative early warning capabilities against cyber crimes.

A national-level cyber security infrastructure system is also needed, according to Zhou.