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Better protect personal data

Updated: 2016-05-26 07:34
(China Daily)

Better protect personal data

Users of social-networking app WeChat on Tuesday found their feeds full of blurred pictures, many accompanied by flirty captions. [Photo/IC]

The recent leaks of the personal information of internet tycoons Robin Lee, Jack Ma and Ma Huateng once again underscores the need for necessary administrative and legal measures to be taken to protect the safety of personal information.

Detailed private information of the three, including their ID numbers and home addresses, was made public on the internet. The three are public figures, but this does not mean their personal information, particularly such private information, can be made public at will.

The unauthorized publication of citizens' personal information is undoubtedly a crime. The public security department should investigate and bring those involved to justice.

That the personal information of these internet titans can be easily accessed and posted online has caused further public concerns about the safety of personal information.

China has fragmented legislation on personal information protection and only a few clauses in the law stipulate punishments for information leaks. Such kind of legal leniency has to a large extent led to the rampant leaks of residents' personal information.

As a result of the development of telecommunications, express delivery services and online financial services, among other things, personal information is now collected and stored in large quantities, and any possible security faults may result in it being accidentally or deliberately leaked.

The past crackdown on the illegal disclosure of personal information mainly focused on punishing the individuals directly involved, while not hunting for and bringing to justice others involved in the crime chain. The country should change its current fragmented management of residents' private information, and formulate a specific law to better protect people's privacy.

All enterprises and departments that have access to people's personal information should be required to follow strict procedures for the acquisition and use of such information, and a comprehensive system of punishments and compensation should be put in place for any malpractices.

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