New city law regulates how government handles your data

Chen Huizhi
Shanghai's first law on data sets rules for the city government to approach data collected during administrative work and public services.
Chen Huizhi

The first law on data in Shanghai, which was passed by the city's legislature on Thursday, regulates how the government should handle data collected from residents.

Known as public data, it refers to data collected and generated by government bodies, organizations legally authorized to administer public affairs and those providing public services such as utilities and public transportation as they perform their duties.

The law classifies public data into three categories in terms of whether it can be accessed by third parties.

Data on information and privacy of individuals, business secrets and classified commercial information are not accessible, while other types of data will be either conditionally or unconditionally accessible to the public.

Natural persons, corporate organizations and unincorporated organizations can all apply for access to data through the city's big data administration. The law also encourages the public to take part in the mining of data for added value.

The government said on Thursday that detailed rules on the accessibility and authorized operation of public data will be made public early next year.

The law will take effect on January 1 next year.

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