Criminal Legislation for Personal Data Protection
The Cybersecurity Law of the PRC (the “Cybersecurity Law”) and the Judicial Interpretations on Issues Concerning the Application of Law in Handling Criminal Cases of Infringing on Citizens’ Personal Information (the “Judicial Interpretations”), both coming into force most recently, dedicate a significant portion of the law to deal with the protection of citizens’ personal information. With a lower threshold for criminal conviction and much more detailed and specific provisions, these laws indicate the trend that China has been making growing efforts to protect citizens’ personal information and to crack down on the infringement of citizens’ personal information. Currently, banking regulators (such as the People’s Bank of China and the China Banking Regulatory Commission) are all emphasizing the protection of citizens’ (financial consumers’) personal information. Banks will unavoidably be engaged in a large number of activities involving personal information, whether in personal banking business or in corporate banking business, whether in existing business operation or in new market exploration. Therefore, to avoid criminal liabilities as the result of infringement of citizens’ personal information would be of extreme importance to banks operating in China.