China’s first privacy protection national standard to enter into force on 1st February

China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) in Beijing announced on 21 January that a non-binding guideline urges organisations collecting personal data to obtain permission before collecting and using an individual’s personal data. The guideline, which was published in November 2012, is the first of its kind in the country, reports

The guideline divides personal information into general and sensitive categories. People collecting personal data may obtain general information on condition an individual does not object. The collection of sensitive personal data must first be authorised by the individual.

Information collectors should have specific and clear purposes as well as justifiable reasons when processing personal information, and delete the information once its intended use has been fulfilled. The guideline also includes eight basic principles for personal information protection, including that an organisation collecting personal data should obtain no more information than is enough to fulfill their purposes.

MIIT will work with companies to encourage implementation of the privacy code.