CHINA / National

90% worry privacy divulged: Survey
Updated: 2006-06-05 16:49

A national survey shows that 91.8 percent of respondents are worried their private information can too easily be divulged and misused, and 74.0 percent said legislation to protect privacy should be enhanced.

The survey, jointly launched by a national newspaper China Youth Daily and one of the country's influential websites, in May, had 4,003 respondents.

The survey showed 39.8 percent of the respondents regularly received unsolicited calls or short text messages from companies trying to sell them something. Just over 53 percent of respondents said they occasionally received such calls or messages.

Respondents were shocked and upset that these unwelcome solicitors knew so much personal information. Respondents said some companies not only knew their name, mobile phone number, work unit, income and identification card number, but also the birthday of their child, the direction their apartment faces and the license number and brand of their newly bought car.

At a website, called "Souren" or "personal search", the personal information of 90 million people can be easily searched, revealing telephone numbers, addresses, work units and phone numbers.

In its conclusion the survey organizers said government departments were to blame. "Tempted by personal gain, people and departments with access to this information sell it to commercial entities seeking customers."

During the annual session of the National People's Congress last year and this year some lawmakers called for enhanced legislation to protect personal information .

Zhang Xuedong, a NPC deputy, said "the personal information protection law is extremely urgent."

China started the drafting of a personal information protection law in 2003 but it has yet to be listed in the NPC's five-year legislation plan.