Private information

Updated: 2007-11-17 07:24

Leaking private information, either intentionally or unintentionally, has gradually become a headache for many as the country opens its arms even wider to the information era.

A by-product of an increasingly digitized world, the trend is getting worse than ever as new technologies and peoples' access to the Internet grows.

The revelations made this week by people.com.cn that private information of some 1 million Chinese stock investors has been floating around the Internet has ignited renewed calls for strengthened private information protection.

A follow-up survey by the same website shows that more than 90 percent of those polled complained they have suffered from the scourge in one way or another.

The majority of the more than 3,500 respondents said their personal information has been leaked by intermediaries or during on-line registration.

In fact, cases of private information infringements have become almost a daily annoyance to many people. Worse, some have found their personal information leaked via unknown channels and has fallen into evil hands for profit-making or illegal purposes.

Better protection of private information, part of our national privacy and non-intangible property, is a testimony to a society's civilization level and conforms to the country's commitment to making continuous progress in the field of human rights protection.

Our nationals certainly need to be aware of self-protection and exercise prudence and vigilance against circumstances that may lead up to private information intrusion.

Concerned authorities, industrial regulators and legislators in particular, should also play a greater role.

The national crackdown on randomly-sent text messages via mobile phones in past months has proven that certain types of intrusions could be checked by industrial regulators.

However, a legislative breakthrough is fundamental in this regard for it will be more powerful to check the ill trend and provide legal basis for countermeasures.

Given that the much-anticipated special law on private information protection is still in its infancy, law makers need to quicken their efforts before the situation gets worse.

(China Daily 11/17/2007 page4)