More than 20 firms based in Shenzhen vowed not to violate user privacy and promote healthy and sustainable development of the internet industry at a conference on October 22, according to South China Morning Post (SCMP) on the same day. Those companies include Tencent [0700:HK], Huawei, Ping An Insurance [2318:HK], and ZTE [0063:HK]. They committed to strengthening their user data security, prohibiting the unnecessary collection of personal information, avoiding abuse of facial recognition data, as well as eliminating price discrimination based on big data analyses. The commitment is in line with China’s new Personal Information Protection Law (PIPL), which will come into force on November 1, 2021.
China’s PIPL is considered one of the world’s toughest legislation on personal data security, according to SCMP. Like the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), China’s PIPL will empower individuals to decide what data would be authorized to data processors. Both GDPR and PIPL stipulate that the collection and processing of personal information should be on a transparent and rigid basis. In recent years, China has promulgated a series of laws and regulations on personal data, such as the Data Security Law and the Cybersecurity Law. Personal information has become the subject of lawsuits in recent years along with the boom of the internet industry. There have been 103 cases on personal information protection by June of 2021. Though there is time before PIPL goes into effect next month, many companies within China have shown either their determination to comply or coordination with relevant enforcement agencies to comply.