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Asia Today ISSN 1861-4604 Tuesday, October 23, 2018

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Thousands held in China over misuse of information

misuse of personal information

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BEIJING, China - Chinese officials revealed that as many as 11,000 people had been held in the country over misuse of citizens’ personal information.

The report was based on investigations carried out between August and October to assess the Cybersecurity Law that took effect on June 1.

The law was introduced to protect online information introduced five years ago.

Citing alleged misuse of citizens’ personal information, the Chinese police have reportedly detained over 11,000 suspects during the past two years. 

Wang Shengjun, Vice Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC), has called the task of protecting Internet users’ personal information “grim.”

He was quoted as saying in the state-run Xinhua news agency as saying, “Illegal industrial chains have taken shape in some places, which involve illegal collection, theft, sale and use of Internet users’ personal information.”

According to the report, some Internet companies and public service agencies have stored large amounts of personal information, however, security protection lags behind in a major way, making them easy targets.

Wang noted, “Serious leaks of personal information have led to an increase in fraud targeting victims with high precision.”

So far, during the past two years, over 11,000 suspects in over 3,700 cases have been detained for alleged misuse of citizens’ personal information.

The Cybersecurity Law includes an identity management policy requiring users to use their real names to identify themselves to service providers, including Internet or telecommunications operators.

Telecommunications operators have, over the past five years, suspended services to more than 10 million users who refused to register their real names.

In the report, Wang was quoted as proposing speeding up work on a new law, standardizing the scope and means of verifying identity, better supervision and harsher penalties.

The media report revealed that China’s Internet users increased at the fastest pace in three years as the abundant availability of Internet-enabled smartphones spurred usage and increased the penetration rate.

Meanwhile, as of June, there were 3.89 billion Internet users around the world.

Of the billions, 751 million were in China, which is the world’s most populous nation.

 

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