China’s tough cyber security law effective from 1 June

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Beijing: Online service providers in China will be banned from collecting and selling users’ personal information from 1 June.

Internet service providers cannot collect user information that is irrelevant to the services, and they should handle such information in line with laws and agreements, according to the cyber security law adopted by China’s top legislature in November last year. The cyber security law will be implemented from 1 June. Online service users will now have rights to ask service providers to delete their information if such information is abused, state-run Xinhua news agency reported on Monday.

Cyber security management staff must also protect information obtained, and are banned from leaking or selling the information, including privacy and commercial secrets. Those who violate the provisions and infringe on personal information will face hefty fines. The new law said the government will take measures to “monitor, defend and handle cybersecurity risks and threats originating from within the country or overseas sources, protecting key information infrastructure from attack, intrusion, disturbance and damage”.

Efforts will also be made to punish criminal activities online and safeguard the order and security of cyberspace, it said. The law also made it clear that no one can use the internet to conduct fraud or sell prohibited goods. Several other regulations will come into force on 1 June. A regulation on online news requires individuals and groups to get government permission before releasing news on instant messaging apps or social websites.

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