A draft data security law, submitted to national lawmakers for first review on Sunday, aims to better protect the country's massive amount of information related to national security and people's lives by establishing a basic system to ensure data security, according to the top legislature.
The Standing Committee of the 13th National People's Congress started reviewing the draft data security law as its 20th session kicked off on Sunday. The session will run through Tuesday in Beijing.
As information technology is deeply integrated with people's everyday lives, a massive amount of data has been accumulated in economic development and social governance, and its volume continues to grow ever more rapidly.
"Data security has obviously become an important matter to national security and social development, so it's necessary to draft a law to address the matter," the legislature said in a news release on Sunday.
No details of the stipulations in the draft law have been released. A draft law usually receives three readings at the top legislature before being voted on.
Zang Tiewei, a spokesman for the Legislative Affairs Commission of the NPC Standing Committee, said on Wednesday in a news release that the draft law aims to establish a system in which data is managed under different classifications and categories. It also stipulates the risk assessment, monitoring, warning and emergency response systems required in data security management.
A management system will also be established to ensure the safety of government data to cope with the development of e-governance. The draft law will also promote the sharing and use of government data, he said.
Those systems will improve China's data security so the country can effectively deal with the risks and challenges brought by the common use of data, especially in the field of national security, according to the top legislature. The draft law will also clarify the responsibilities of different parties in data security so the legal rights of organizations and individuals can be protected, it said.
With China entering the information age, there have been calls in recent years for such a law to protect the country's data security. At a group study session of the Communist Party of China Central Committee's Political Bureau on Dec 8, 2017, General Secretary Xi Jinping called for strengthening the ability to protect the nation's crucial data resources, speeding up relevant legislation and improving the protection of data property rights. The law was listed in the legislation work plan of the NPC Standing Committee in September 2018.
Lu Chuanying, secretary-general of the Shanghai Institutes for International Studies' Research Center for Global Cyberspace Governance, said the data security law will be another important piece of legislation in the area of cybersecurity after the Cybersecurity Law, which took effect on June 1, 2017.
It's a move to better handle the increasing number of disputes and social problems caused by data security breaches and other safety issues, he said.
"Many countries have already started to draft laws on data security because they know data holds key strategic value," he said.