The Emergence of Tort Liability for Online Privacy Violations in China

(2015) 135 Privacy Laws & Business International Report 22-24

UNSW Law Research Paper No. 2015-54

6 Pages Posted: 27 Jul 2015 Last revised: 11 Sep 2015

Scott Livingston

Simone IP Services (SIPS)

Graham Greenleaf

University of New South Wales, Faculty of Law

Date Written: June 1, 2015

Abstract

Between 2009 and 2014, China’s legislative organs promulgated a series of fundamental data privacy laws and regulations. Amongst these developments is an increased attention to providing individuals a civil recourse (or tort action) in instances where their personal privacy has been violated by online activities.

This first part of a two-part article focuses on such protections as existed via China’s 1986 General Principles of the Civil Law (GPCL), and there subsequent codification in the 2009 Tort Liability Law (TLL). However, these developments have not, in themselves, led to a significant level of litigation, possibly due to uncertainly over how the TLL would function in this area. However some cases under the GPCL, notably the Wang Fei case, may have a continuing significance for the meaning of privacy under Chinese law, and on the role of intermediaries (IISPs).

The second part of the article will focus on an attempt to clarify some of these uncertainties, China’s Supreme People’s Court passed a regulation in October 2014 entitled “The Supreme People’s Court Regulations Concerning Some Questions of Applicable Law in Handling Civil Dispute Cases Involving the Use of Information Networks to Harm Personal Rights and Interests.” (SPC Regulation).

Keywords: privacy, data protection, China, tort, civil liability

Suggested Citation

Livingston, Scott and Greenleaf, Graham, The Emergence of Tort Liability for Online Privacy Violations in China (June 1, 2015). (2015) 135 Privacy Laws & Business International Report 22-24; UNSW Law Research Paper No. 2015-54. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2636129

Scott Livingston

Simone IP Services (SIPS) ( email )

25th Floor, 3 Lockhart Road
Hong Kong
Hong Kong

Graham Greenleaf (Contact Author)

University of New South Wales, Faculty of Law ( email )

Sydney, New South Wales 2052
Australia
+61 2 9385 2233 (Phone)
+61 2 9385 1175 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www2.austlii.edu.au/~graham

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