Publication,

China’s Personal Information Protection Law – How to Get Ready

The growth of the digital economy has led governments around the world to seek to regulate cybersecurity and privacy of individuals. The digital economy has eroded national boundaries, accentuated possible risks to infrastructure and allows for personal information to be collected on a scale undreamt of and to be used in ways few understand. 

China's authorities tackled cybersecurity with the PRC Cybersecurity Law (Cybersecurity Law) which came into effect on 1 June 2017. This law also touched upon privacy concerns and marked that regulating of the digital economy and cyberspace was a serious objective. On 1 September 2021, China Data Security Law came effect. The focus of this law is the protection and security of critical data in relation to national security and the public interest.

China's new Personal Information Protection Law (PIPL) which comes into effect on 1st November 2021 deals in a much more comprehensive manner with individual data. The Cybersecurity Law, the Data Security Law, PIPL and a plethora of other regulations need to be considered as a whole when international companies operate in or with China. However, as we explain in this article PIPL will likely cause much more concern for international businesses as 1) it is coming soon; 2) it applies much more broadly; 3) it establishes very legitimate rights for individuals vis a vis their personal data but such rights will need to be reflected in business processes; 4) the penalties have real teeth; and 5) one can expect very active enforcement due to a mix of motivated regulators and concerned individuals being empowered to take action.   

In this article we seek to provide an overview as to how PIPL will hold companies accountable and also what measures we believe need to be taken. 

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