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China expands control over data collected by tech companies with new laws: Report

China is expanding and strengthening its control over data collected by tech companies, including US-based companies, by enacting new laws and measures, The Wall Street Journal reported on June 12. The Chinese government is demanding big tech companies like Tencent, Alibaba, and ByteDance to open up the data they collect from users to help the government make "objective and accurate analyses", the report stated. These demands are driven by the belief that the government should be able to access the huge troves of data collected by tech giants and because of the worry that tech giants might create alternative power centres in the country, the report added. Two new laws to help China on this front The following two laws, which build on the 2017 Cybersecurity Law, "will subject almost all data-related activities to government oversight, including their collection, storage, use and transmission," the report states: Data Security Law: The Data Security Law, which was passed last Thursday and goes into effect on September 1, sees private-sector data classified according to its importance to the interests of the state. The vaguely worded provision will make it easier for authorities to demand data they deem essential to the state and make it harder for businesses to refuse, the report stated. Personal Information Protection Law: The proposed Personal Information Protection Law, which was updated by China’s legislature in April, limits the types of data that private-sector firms can collect. But unlike the European Union’s data protection regulation, on which it is modelled, the Chinese version…

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