Information security problems are becoming a hidden danger
Building a privacy protection security wall in the age of big data
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)