15 Mar, 2012

New privacy regulations which will impact Chinese internet information service providers (IISPs) came into force today (March 15).


The regulations were issued at the end of 2011 by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of the People’s Republic of China, and now that they are in force, they will require IISPs to follow a set of strict rules when collecting and processing personal information about their users.


IISPs are now required to provide users with ‘clear and complete information on software functions and other information’. They are also required to gain users’ permission before carrying out ‘operations on user terminals such as downloading, installation, running, upgrading or uninstallation of software’.


Under the new rules, it will also be illegal for IISPs to mislead users into downloading, running, installing, upgrading or uninstalling software and they must make the process of uninstalling any software as simple as the process of installing it in the first place.


Chinese law expert, William Soileau of Pinsent Masons, told “The rest of the world typically views China’s internet policy as the monolithic realm of pervasive censors and great firewalls.  But the reality on the ground is one of fiercely freewheeling competition and creativity, mostly untouched by official policy,” he said. “The new regulations will establish China as a leader in the protection of online consumer rights.”


“China has perhaps over 500 million internet users, giving it the largest and still one of the fastest growing internet markets in the world. China sees the Internet as an important engine for economic growth, a catalyst for both new technologies and new markets, so it has every interest in ensuring good market order.” he said.


Soileau concluded: “The regulations should be a good thing for consumers and the industry.” 

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