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Clarify Data Rights Through Classification and Promote Safe and Free Flow of Data (No.57, 2019)


By Dai Jianjun & Tian Jietang, Research Team on “The Policies for the Development of China’s Digital Economy”, Research Department of Innovation Development, DRC

Research Report, No.57, 2019 (Total 5557) 2019-4-23

Abstract: The digital technology revolution is transforming data into a new production factor and the identification of data rights has become an urgent issue on the agenda. However, the diversified character of data rights has made the definition rather difficult. Many countries have implemented classification-based management of data, clarified the public attributes of government data and contents of personal data rights, promoted the establishment of data property rights for non-private business data, regulated the management of cross-border flow of personal data and endowed the watchdogs the right to obtain data to perform respective duties. As relevant laws and regulations in China have not yet incorporated data property attributes into the scope of data rights, efforts need to be made to clarify the contents of various data rights as soon as possible. Therefore, relevant government departments in China need to clarify the government’s rights, responsibilities and obligations on the management of government data as well as rights and obligations of the public in terms of data use, provide non-private business data producers with ownership, clarify natural persons’ personal data rights and allow data controllers to maintain restrictive ownership of anonymized data. The government departments also need to improve the integration of cross-border data flow management systems, ensure data sovereignty through privacy mechanisms and security exceptions and regulate rights and requirements of the watchdogs to obtain data for performing duties.

Key words: data rights, confirmation of rights, circulation