Police strengthen fight to protect personal information online
Updated: September 22, 2021 07:16 China Daily

Chinese police pledged to strengthen the fight against those stealing people's personal information to keep public order in cyberspace and effectively protect internet security.

"We've put a lot of attention into investigating and combating offenses and violations involving personal information in recent years, as the issue concerns every resident's interests and most complaints among the public," Wang Yingwei, head of the Ministry of Public Security's cybersecurity bureau, said at a news conference held by the State Council Information Office on Sept 17.

From 2018 to last year, police nationwide solved more than 17,000 cases involving infringement of people's personal information, arresting more than 40,000 suspects, Wang said.

Last year, 861 people were caught for allegedly stealing or selling personal information from old people and those under the age of 18, while 60 others were captured on suspicion of stealing or selling other's facial data, he said.

Meanwhile, public security organs have also taken measures such as making use of media outlets and online platforms to enhance people's awareness of the need to protect their personal information, he said.

Thanks to the intensified efforts, the number of cases relating to infringement of personal information in the first eight months of this year fell by 9.1 percent year-on-year, "meaning remarkable progress in the campaign", he added.

To improve people's sense of security and happiness when surfing the internet, Wang said the clampdown will continue, but suggested netizens be more careful when filling in their personal data online and remain vigilant when clicking or downloading web links or applications with unknown origins.

Public security departments have also been required to promote the safety of major information infrastructure, increase supervision of data security and resolutely fight related crimes, Wang said.

He said the measures are being taken to implement the Data Security Law, which came into effect on Sept 1, and further safeguard national security, public security and people's interests.

As of June, the number of Chinese internet users had surpassed 1 billion. In the fast developing internet era, police scrutiny of new problems in cyberspace and online order has also increased.

Last year, for example, police removed more than 2.37 million pieces of harmful online information, taking some 60,000 illegal apps off the market and closing 36,000 illegal livestreaming rooms, said Du Hangwei, vice-minister of public security.

Besides the fight against online irregularities, public security organs have launched several campaigns against child trafficking, telecom fraud, overseas gambling and drug-related offenses since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in 2012, he said.

"Our country has seen a continuing decline in serious violent crimes," he said, adding that also contributed to promoting the building of an all-around xiaokang shehui, or moderately prosperous society.

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