The Chinese Cyberspace Administration issued a regulation on the protection of personal information of children in the networks, in what would be the country's first legislation for this type of virtual child protection.
The Regulation, officially published on Friday and effective as of October 1, stipulates that no organization or individual can produce, disseminate or disseminate personal information of children under 14 without the consent of their legal guardian.
Timely and necessary protection
The age of children's internet access decreases.
According to a 2018 report on the use of the network of minors in the country, the number of users (with the exception of those under 6 years and non-students) added 169 million at the end of July. The penetration rate reached 93.7%, 89.5% for primary school students and 99.4% for secondary school students. The data showed that 87.4% of children are connected to study.
While, on the one hand, it is a source of knowledge for schoolchildren, they face risks when some websites and applications illegally collect, abuse or process their personal information.
Being a special regulation, this legal body offers rules on collection, storage, use, transfer, disclosure and elimination of data on minors to strengthen their security.
According to it, operators must establish special guides and user agreements, as well as designate personnel responsible for their safeguard.
They must notify the tutors clearly, obtain their consent and provide a rejection option for the handling of said information.
The purpose, method and scope of such use will be made known to the tutors, as well as the storage source, its duration and the measures to be taken after its expiration.
In addition, they will reveal the steps to follow to protect the data, the consequences of the refusal, the available complaint channels and the methods to correct and eliminate such information.
For the tutors, the legislation requires them to adequately fulfill their duties, educate and guide the children to improve their awareness and ability to protect personal information and ensure that they protect themselves as well.
Greater attention to the protection of minors on the internet
The amendment to Chinese laws demonstrates greater attention to children's online safety.
The second draft of the individual rights section of the Civil Code added a new provision that states that for the collection and use of personal information of minors and other persons without or with limited capacity for civil conduct, the consent of tutors, unless otherwise indicated in laws and administrative regulations.
A draft of the consent guidelines made modifications with respect to the specific ways of obtaining it.
The experts recommended the addition of a section linked to the protection of children in the network in the draft revision of the Child Protection Law.