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Cybersecurity Week highlights users’ data protection

This year’s Cybersecurity Week, a nationwide event, kicked off on Monday with emphasis on personal information protection.

As cybersecurity has been safeguarded to protect national security in recent years, China has also intensified efforts to prevent personal data from being excessively collected, abused or illegally used, said He Yanzhe, a security specialist from the China Electronics Standardization Institute of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

He made the remark before the Cybersecurity Week’s opening ceremony in Zhengzhou, Henan province, the host city this year. Zhengzhou will host a number of events, including a summit, forums and a cybersecurity expo.

As cybersecurity has been safeguarded to protect national security in recent years, China has also intensified efforts to prevent personal data from being excessively collected, abused or illegally used, said He Yanzhe, a security specialist from the China Electronics Standardization Institute of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology

One of the forums will deal with the protection of personal information on smartphone applications, a topic which He said has been gaining greater public attention in recent years.

“When finding personal data has been stolen or tracked by app operators, people become worried, because it relates to their property or even their safety,” he explained, adding that these concerns had motivated authorities to tackle such violations by drawing up guidelines and launching crackdowns.

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In 2019, the Cyberspace Administration of China initiated a campaign against the illegal collection and use of personal information by apps.

So far, more than 1,000 apps have been ordered to rectify problems, and 260 others with bigger problems have been publicly criticized or removed from the market, according to Xinhua News Agency.

Since the administration issued a guideline on how to identify illegal collection of personal data last year, “we’ve rarely seen apps that force users to provide phone contacts, and most apps have had their own rules on collecting personal information, which means the industry is being regulated”, He said.

To safeguard personal information, some companies have also taken action. DBAPPSecurity, a cybersecurity enterprise in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, has taken measures to further protect users’ personal data and prevent it from being stolen.

“We’ve made rules on protecting personal information and specified every employees’ responsibilities in this regard,” said Fan Yuan, head of DBAPPSecurity.

“We’ve also improved the classification of personal data by technologies to make clear what cannot be collected in line with the laws and regulations.”

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Since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in 2012, efforts have been stepped up across the nation to strengthen cybersecurity protection.

In June 2017, the Cybersecurity Law took effect, which was China’s first fundamental legal document on governing online security. The Cyberspace Administration of China then issued regulations dealing with several key parts of the law, on issues such as cybersecurity emergency response and cybersecurity reviews.

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