I’d like similar rules here in Europe rather than “whatever” buttons about cookie settings…:
[…] Likely to be of more interest to readers of Privacy News Online is China’s first local data protection law. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it comes from the Special Economic Zone of Shenzhen, often called the “Silicon Valley of hardware”. Leading digital companies such as Tencent, Huawei, and the drone company DJI all have their headquarters there. At the other end of the business scale, Shenzhen is also famous for its vast electronics market in Huaqiangbei, generally regarded as the world’s largest. An excellent 2016 video from Wired captures well the extraordinary energy and entrepreneurial activity of Shenzhen in the digital sphere. Given the growing importance of personal data for digital products developed in Shenzhen, it was natural for the city to be authorized to draw up China’s first local privacy law, and this was passed in June 2021; it is due to come into force at the beginning of 2022. An article in the South China Morning Post summarizes the law’s main thrust:
The regulation also makes it clear that an individual has the right to say no to data collection requests and has the right to know, copy, correct and delete his or her personal information online, in a clear sign that the authorities have a preference for consumer protection over corporate profitability.
In particular, it explicitly bans apps from profiling users under the age of 18 and serving them with personalised recommendations, a rule that could challenge the business model of apps that use this type of algorithm, including ByteDance’s Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok.
The People’s Daily Online adds that, more generally, users will have the right to refuse personalized recommendations based on their profiles. Companies will need to provide them with a way of doing this that is straightforward. These are highly significant moves in the context of the discussions underway in the West about the place, if any, of micro-targeted ads based on gathering large quantities of personal data. If Shenzhen’s approach is adopted across China it would doubtless add momentum to the growing movement to regulate or even ban such personalized advertising.