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China Passes One of the World’s Strictest Data-Privacy Laws

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HONG KONG—China has approved a sweeping privacy law that will curb data collection by technology companies, but that policy analysts say is unlikely to limit the state’s widespread use of surveillance.

China’s top legislative body, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, passed the Personal Information Protection Law at a meeting in Beijing on Friday, according to the state-run Xinhua News Agency.

The law will take effect Nov. 1, Xinhua said. The full text of the final version wasn’t released upon passage.

The national privacy law, China’s first, closely resembles the world’s most robust framework for online privacy protections, Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation, and contains provisions that require any organization or individual handling Chinese citizens’ personal data to minimize data collection and to obtain prior consent.

However, unlike in Europe, where governments face more public pressure over data collection, Beijing is expected to maintain broad access to data.


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