Alibaba Cloud case underlines need to strictly safeguard privacy: China Daily

BEIJING (CHINA DAILY/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) – In response to an allegation that Alibaba Cloud, a cloud computing unit of e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, leaked users’ registration information without their consent to some partner companies, the Zhejiang Communications Administration has reportedly asked the company to make rectifications.

On Monday (Aug 23), Alibaba Cloud said on its official Weibo account that an employee in the company’s electronics sales section had given the users’ information to companies that Alibaba Cloud is partnering with, for which he has been severely punished.

While information and communications technology has become a driver of economic growth and made people’s lives much more convenient, it has increased, by many times, the risk of personal information being leaked, with information such as the name, address, work unit, ID number and other basic information of people getting leaked accidentally or deliberately more frequently.

This has resulted in a series of problems, such as the formation of underground personal information selling chains, app-makers seeking unnecessary and excessive personal information from users, and big data being used to analyse users’ consumption.

Plus, other internet-based frauds and crimes have become rampant.

The Alibaba Cloud case has, once again, underlined the need to strictly safeguard people’s privacy and personal information.

China has, in recent years, enacted laws, regulations and provisions that to a certain extent have curbed such frauds.

The Cybersecurity Law, for instance, covers the actions of network operators dealing with users’ personal information and the Civil Code has strengthened personal information protection.

In addition, the Amendment to the Criminal Law, the Law on the Protection of the Rights and Interests of Consumers and other laws also help protect people’s personal information.

In the Alibaba case, if it is proved that users’ information was leaked, the law enforcement authorities should bring the enterprise and people involved to book.

But as the provisions for protection of personal information are scattered across several laws and regulations, a comprehensive law on protection of people’s personal information is needed.

The Personal Information Protection Law, passed by the 13th National People’s Congress Standing Committee on Aug 20 and due to come into effect on Nov 1, aims to serve this purpose.

The law has operable provisions on the rights of people on their personal information, the responsibilities of those processing personal information, and the duties of relevant departments for the protection of personal information.

  • China Daily is a member of The Straits Times media partner Asia News Network, an alliance of 23 news media organisations.

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