The two draft rules, Provisions on the Protection of the Personal Information of Telecommunications and Internet Users and the Provisions on Registration of the True Identity Information of Phone Users were presented by the MIIT on 10 April, showing China’s commitment to protecting telecommunications and internet users’ personal information.

The Provisions for Telecommunications and Internet Users would influence activities involving the collection of personal data by telecommunications services and Internet information services operating within China in the following main ways:

  • Broadening the scope of the types of data that would be subject to privacy regulations by including log information in its definition of personal information and defining the MIIT as the “Telecommunications Authority” under the central government
  • Outlining the standards specific to the collection and use of personal information obtained by service providers in the process of providing telecommunications and Internet services
  • Establishing specific security protection requirements for personal data collected by service providers and requiring service providers to establish user complaint handling mechanisms and are expected to resolve users’ complaints within 15 days of receipt of a complaint
  • Establishing financial penalties of RMB 10,000 for minor violations of the regulations and up to RMB 30,000 and/or criminal liability for more serious violations of the regulations

The Provisions on Phone Users when enacted would regulate the registration of the true identity information of phone users on fixed and mobile (including wireless network cards) phone lines, thereby providing much needed direction and force in protecting telecommunications and Internet users’ personal information. From a corporate user, the following documents would be required:

  • the valid identity document of the handling officer and the power of attorney issued by the entity
  • the company’s organizational code certificate
  • the company’s business license
  • the company’s legal person certificate of public institutions or legal person registration certificate of social organizations
  • other valid identity documents or supporting documents as required

The MIIT solicited public comments for the above two provisions until 15 May 2013 and is expected to issue its final determinations in the near future.