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Shanghai rules protect safety of digital data

By XING YI in Shanghai | China Daily Global | Updated: 2022-01-13 09:28

Shanghai will promote the data economy and industrial digitization by advancing the safe utilization of public data through a recently enacted municipal regulation, city officials said on Wednesday.

The 91-article Shanghai Municipal Data Regulation, which took effect on Jan 1, was the first in China passed by a provincial legislature to protect personal data, promote free and orderly data exchanges, and aid big data analytics.

"Data is a new element of production, is deeply involved in economic activities and has become the new driver for high-quality development," Wu Qing, vice-mayor of Shanghai, told a news conference on Wednesday.

"The new regulation will help 'fasten the seat belt' for the city as it is speeding toward becoming a global digital hub," he said, adding that the municipal government will launch 37 policies to implement the regulation.

Wu said the policies will include setting up the position of chief data officer in some government agencies and public institutions to coordinate the standardization and governance of data within and across organizations.

A data classification and risk-rating system will be designed to protect sensitive data, and based on the rating system the government will launch pilot programs in Pudong district's Lingang area for cross-border exchanges of low-risk data in industries such as intelligent connected vehicles, financial technology and the industrial internet of things, he added.

Wu also noted the "digital divide"-the unequal availability and affordability of digital resources among the young and the elderly-in the city's digital transformation, and said the government will make policies to improve digital literacy among different demographic groups and ensure that everyone can enjoy the benefits of data utilization.

Zhu Zongyao, director of the Shanghai Municipal Big Data Center, said the city has compiled more than 134 billion data entries in 18,000 data sets in recent years, and the center will continue to promote the sharing of data under the new regulation.

"We have brought down many barriers to the data flow within different government departments in Shanghai and also in the Yangtze River Delta," Zhu said, adding that the sharing of data related to epidemic prevention had helped provinces respond quicker to the sporadic COVID-19 outbreaks in the region.

Yang Haijun, chief engineer of the city's cyberspace administration, said it will strengthen data security and launch inspections targeting the illegal gathering and abuse of personal data, focusing on the malpractice of some mobile apps and mini apps.

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