In a move the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) describes as needed to “secure personal information and the safety of important data, as well as to protect internet sovereignty and national security”, China has revealed plans to prevent the export of user data out of the country as well as the transmission of data that the Chinese government believes may pose a risk to national security.
The proposals cover companies referred to by the Chinese government as “network operators” – a broadly defined term that encompasses social media companies and search engines – and they will be required to obtain permission from users and the Chinese government before they can transmit such data out of the country.
Companies that either have data on more than 500,000 users or transfer more than one terabyte of data would also be required to go through an annual security audit.
There are fears the proposals, rather than protect user privacy, will further strengthen the grip the Chinese government has on the digital arena in the country. Kieren McCarthy at The Register said that China’s history of censorship “means that the measures are ominous rather than purely protective.”
You can read Kieren McCarthy’s blog here.