China announces initiative to set global data security rules

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on September 08, 2020

It outlines an eight-pronged approach to maintaining data security in the digital economy

China on Tuesday launched its ‘Global Data Security Initiative’ to address “ new issues and challenges” in data security.

The initiative was announced by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi at a seminar on global digital surveillance in Beijing.

The initiative outlines an eight-pronged approach to maintaining data security in the digital economy. It details various principles that companies should follow from collecting to using data. Principles including preventing authorities that “infringe upon personal information” from doing so and not using technology to conduct mass surveillance against other states.

Yi in his keynote speech at the seminar accused individual countries of “bullying” and data “protectionism”. He also added that global standards were necessary to prevent “politicisation of security issues.”

“It is important to develop a set of international rules on data security that reflect the will and respect the interests of all countries through broad-based participation,” he said.

The initiative comes after US President Donald Trump’s crackdown on Chinese companies, including Huawei Technologies Co Ltd, Tencent Holdings Ltd and TikTok parent ByteDance citing security concerns.

China’s own cyberspace is controlled through measures dubbed as the Great Firewall. It restricts access to major big tech firms including Twitter, Google and Facebook.

Yi did not mention any further details including participation from other countries, if any, and the overall nature of the initiative.

Published on September 08, 2020

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