The Emergence of Tort Liability for Online Privacy Violations in China
(2015) 135 Privacy Laws & Business International Report 22-24
6 Pages Posted: 27 Jul 2015 Last revised: 11 Sep 2015
Date Written: June 1, 2015
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
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