China is tightening control over information gathered by companies about the public under a law approved Friday by its ceremonial legislature, expanding the ruling Chinese Communist Party’s crackdown on private sector handling of data.
The law would impose some of the world’s strictest controls on private sector handling of information about individuals but appears not to affect the ruling party’s pervasive surveillance or access to those corporate data.
The law is similar to Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, which limits collection and handling of customer data. But unlike laws in Western countries, earlier drafts of the Chinese legislation say nothing about limiting ruling party or government access to personal information.
The ruling party has been accused of using data gathered about Uyghurs and other members of predominantly Muslim ethnic groups in the northwestern region of Xinjiang to carry out a widespread campaign of repression.
Rebecca Arcesati, an analyst at the Mercator Institute for China Studies [said], “The message from the government to internet platform businesses is clear: Future growth will only be possible within the limits of what is good for the Chinese nation, which in turn is defined by the Chinese Communist Party.”
MacDailyNews Take: The CCP is exempt. Shocking.