On May 8, 2017, the Supreme People’s Court and the Supreme People’s Procuratorate jointly issued their judicial interpretations on criminal offenses involving infringement of citizens’ personal information (Fa Shi [2017] No. 10, “the Interpretations”), which will take effect on June 1, 2017, together with the Cyber Security Law.

The Interpretations clarify article 253 of the Chinese Criminal Law:

  • “Citizens’ personal information” is defined as any kind of information recorded by electronic or other means that can be used alone or in combination with other information to identify an individual, or reflect the characteristics of the individual’s activities, including that person’s name, ID number, contact information and address.
  • It is illegal to make this data public by selling or disclosing it to third parties without consent, and to purchase, receive, exchange and collect any citizen's personal information, through the information network or by any other means, when performing duties or providing services, unless the information has been processed and cannot be sufficiently recovered to match it with a specific individual.
  • The circumstances under which a case will be considered serious and particularly serious.
  • The consequences for network operators refusing to fulfill their security management obligations, resulting in an infringement of this type.

Date of issue: May 16, 2017. Effective date: May 16, 2017