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Social Credit and the 19th CCP Congress. Article – Privacy protection in the age of big data

Information security problems are becoming a hidden danger

Building a privacy protection security wall in the age of big data

Meng Wei

People’s Daily (October 10, 2017)

In the contemporary era, big data, its use and developement, are a resource government, enterprises and individuals scramble for.With the development of big data technology, data mining, integration and exchange are more and more convenient, and the knowledge and use of personal information by some enterprise is becoming deeper and deeper.A large number of personal information is stored, produced, used, exchanged on the internet. On the one hand this facilitates people’s lives, but on the other hand, a large-scale, deep violation of privacy becomes a possibility. The sale of records of personal location, which happened in recent years, the theft of information about one’s list of friends, leakages of electronic business data, the flooding of internet fora with personal data and other similar phenomena show that information security problems in the development and use of big data have become a hidden danger.

Big data technology can extracts valuable practical information and knowledge from a vast sea of incomplete and non-determinate information resources through their classification, clustering, regression analysis, association rules and other algorithms.But the use of this technology will also cause information security problems.At the different stages of data storage, processing and transmission, people’s words and deeds may be controlled and used by others, in their unawareness.The precision marketing so highly praised by commercial enterprises and the advertising industry is just the integration of online and offline big data about users’ interests and hobbies, behaviors, habits and other information that is collected and then used to form a precise positioning of the user, in order to push them to purchase products.


Information security threats in the age of big data do not just come from leaking personal information that is then grabbed and recorded. In fact, the deep integration among big data and cloud computing, the internet of things and other technologies is such as to allow to link machines, objects, people, services and other elements, ed establish links among seemingly unrelated objects through computing, analyses, production and other methods, and on this basis make predictions about people’s life conditions and mode of behavior. In addition, the development of big data and related technologies has also made the means to violate privacy more diverse and covert, which makes it difficult to identify parties responsible for violations of privacy.Because information is constantly downloaded, stored, arranged, disseminated through the internet through all kinds of sharing and commercial transactions, those responsible for violations morph from individuals to a vague group, and the specific tortious liability is difficult to trace.


The lack of strict and uniform standards and supervision of the collection, storage, management and use of personal information is an important reason causing the frequent occurrence of personal privacy incidents. For example, clear provisions on what kind of information can be collected by which agencies, when and where information can be disclosed, retained and used, and how long should the information be used for, are currently lacking.This leads personal information security having to rely to a large extent on the self-regulation of enterprises and other information users, with binding effects that are obviously limited


Information security in the era of big data has become an important issue in the governance of the internet.In practice, a relatively effective solution would be strengthening legislation and protecting citizens’ basic information rights according to the law from new technologies.At present, our country has promulgated dozens of laws and regulations to protect citizen’s personal information security, and the criminal law also has relevant punishment clauses.However, laws and regulations on the computer firms, and on Weibo, Wechat and Sohu [“The Two Wei and the One Duan”] and other organizations conducting a large-scale collection of personal information have an insufficient binding force.Therefore, it is urgent to strengthen the legal regulation and supervision of personal information collection, storage and use.


In addition to strengthening legislation, the protection of personal information security should be vigorously pursued in other areas.For example, industry organizations related to big data having the advantage of a timely and highly efficient perception of market development dynamics should strengthen self-regulation within the industry, formulate industry codes of self-regulation on privacy certification rules, and technical protection rules, thus binding the conduct of enterprises. Then, we should promote the regulation of data use for the whole of society, and protect personal information security beginning with the precision of data processing, the manual scraping of data, data cycle protection, the special protection of private data.At the same time, we should also raise citizens’ awareness of personal information security protection according to the law, promote a moderate use of personal information, and evade the information security risks brought about by the development of big data technology.

(Researcher, Institute of Journalism and Communication, CASS)

Zhejiang Province Regulations on Managing Public Credit Information

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 – General Principles

Chapter 2 – Information Collection and Disclosure

Chapter 3 – Incentives and Punishments

Chapter 4 – Protecting the Rights and Interests of Information Subjects

Chapter 5 – Legal Responsibility

Chapter 6 – Supplementary Provisions

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Social Credit and the CCP 19th Congress (3): Tightening the Screw on Corporate Compliance?

A further, interesting development in the run-up to the 19th Congress of the CCP took place with the publication on the People’s Daily of a document adopted on September 8.

The document is entitled “Opinions of the CCP Central Committee and of the State Council on constructing an environment for the healthy growth of entrepreneurs, promoting the spirit of outstanding entrepreneurs and better developing the role of entrepreneurs.”

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[Social Credit and the 19th CCP Congress (2)] People’s Daily: One Should Not Let Algorithms Determine Content

One Should Not Let Algorithms Determine Content

Xuan Yan

People’s Daily, October 5, 2017, p. 4

With the advent of big data and the wide application of artificial intelligence, some commercial websites, mobile news clients, including live broadcasting platforms, browsers, internet search engines, audio-visual software, and so on, are using algorithms to “read minds”, to tailor information to the user, and to create a new personalized reading experience. The acquisition of information has changed from the model of “finding a needle in a haystack” to the model of “individual customization”. However, technology is often a cold two-edged sword. In the weighing of values and interests, so-called algorithms have become the standard weight of interests. Everything revolves around the traffic volumes of websites, the number of clicks, reposts are blindly followed, clickbait headlines are spreading uncontrolled, while the value orientation is deviating, and content has been reduced to an appendage.

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Changes in Social Credit and the 19th CCP Congress (1)

While the 19th Congress of the CCP is less than a month away, a debate tracing the possible future trajectories of social credit has already started, and it is focussing on local legislation.

This far, local legislation on social credit has been adopted by Shanghai Municipality, by Hubei, Hebei, Zhejiang, Shaanxi Province, and Shenzhen. While each one of these pieces of legislation is important in its own respect, the Shanghai social credit regulations play a unique role in driving change in social credit. The first Chinese city to introduce a credit rating system, since 2000 Shanghai has been shaping national trends in social credit.

Comments on the Shanghai social credit regulations – which went into effect yesterday – have been produced by Professor Lin Yu (Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences), and published on the latest issue of The Monthly Magazine of Shanghai People’s Congress (Shanghai Renda Yuekan). To enable readers to form an independent opinion on ongoing trends, the full translation of the article is available below. The original article can be found here.

The article provides a window into a little-known domestic debate on social credit. It lets all those with a stake in social credit understand how social credit is on the brink of change.

Change is always dense with possibilities. At the moment, there are signs that “social credit” may be morphing into a more sophisticated policy, designed to govern economic actors through big data management. While it is not possible to predict what shape and direction this process will take, one thing is certain.

Only those with the knowledge and skills needed to read and comprehend the ‘signals’ coming from within China will be able to understand possible future impacts on their activities, and on their rating. Ignoring upcoming changes or dismissing them as meaningless will entail significant risks.

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Fujian Province Implementation Plan on Strengthening a System of Individual Integrity








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Conference Information: Challenges and Opportunities of the Chinese Social Credit System

The Foundation for Law and International Affairs and the Coalition for Peace and Ethics are happy to announce that the Conference “Challenges and Opportunities of the Chinese Social Credit System” will be held on September 23, 2017 at the Ko Guan Law School, Shanghai Jiaotong University.

We have made available a copy of the conference program.

To download your copy, please make sure you agree to the Terms and Conditions, and insert your name and email in the fields below. If you do not receive your download link within 10 minutes, please check you ‘Spam’ folder.

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China Launches Action Plan In Bid to Become a ‘Quality Powerhouse’

On September 5, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and the State Council issued the ‘Guiding Opinions on Carrying Out the Quality Improvement Action’ (official document here). The 10,000 characters document is a blueprint providing a detailed list of measures to transform China into a ‘Quality Powerhouse’.

By 2020, China intends to:

  • improve quality in products, projects and services, to boost the global competitiveness of Chinese brands, products, and services;

  • Improve the quality of its industrial development, to give life to world-class industrial clusters;

  • Improve quality in all regions, to facilitate the survival of traditional quality brands, and the emergence of regional quality brands;

  • Construct a national quality infrastructure based on measurements, standards, and certifications to enhance China’s global competitiveness, and reinvigorate its external relations.

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MOU on the Joint Punishment of Listed Companies Engaging in Misconduct or Breaches of Trust

Memorandum of Understanding on the Joint Punishment of Subjects of Liability of Listed Companies Who Engage in Misconduct or Breaches of Trust

In order to comprehensively implement the spirit of the 18th Party Congress, and of the 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, Plenums, to implement the requests of praising integrity and punishing breaches of trust, posed by such documents as the “State Council Opinions on Promoting Safe Competition and Safeguarding the Normal Order of the Market” (State Council Document no. 20 [2013]), the “State Council Notice Issuing the Planning Outline on the Construction of a Social Credit System (2014-2020)” (State Council Document no. 21 [2014], the “State Council General Office Notice on Further Strengthening the Protecton of the Rights and Interests of Small and Medium-Sized Investors in Capital Markets (State Council Document no. 110 [2013]), the Development and Reform Commission, the SFC, the People’s Bank, the Central Spiritual Civilization Office, the Supreme People’s Court, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the Ministry of Public Security, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Environmental Protection, the Ministry of Transport, the Ministry of Commerce, SASAC, the General Administration of Customs, the General Administration of Taxation, the General Administration of Industry and Commerce, AQSIQ, the China Food and Drug Administration, the Central Leading Group for Cyberspace Affairs, CBRC, the Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission, the Foreign Exchange Bureau, the National Federation of Trade Unions, on the basis of relevant laws and regulations, rules and normative documents, have reached the following unanimous opinion on the joint punishment of listed companies and related institutions and their personnel who engage in misconduct or breaches of trust.

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Western Rating Agencies Allowed to Set Up in China

Editor’s Note: 

Over at the blog Law at the End of the Day, in a recent post 1 Larry Catà Backer observed how to “understand the construction of social credit in China one must look to patterns of” rules on FDIs relevant to credit investigation and rating services. A fundamental text, in this respect, is  Announcement No. 1 [2016] (available below) on foreign invested credit rating agencies.

The post further discussed how in China’s 2017 Catalogue for the Guidance of Foreign Invested Industries credit investigation and rating services have been moved from the ‘restricted’ to the ‘permitted’ category. The change in status of credit investigation and rating services has been in the making for quite some time.

The existing regulatory framework on credit rating makes only scant references to foreign invested credit rating services 2 Also, as it is well known, the 2015 People’s Bank of China Notice on Performing Well the Preparatory Work for the Credit Reporting Industry had delegated the task to construct the consumer credit rating industry to eight domestic agencies.

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