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-DATA PROTECTION & PRIVACY- China to Publish All Court Judgments, with Some Privacy Protections

China’s Supreme People’s Court (SPC) issued a new regulation “Provisions on the Online Issuance of Judgment Documents by People’s Courts,” (Provisions), requiring that all court judgments in China be published online in a searchable public database specially set up for that purpose. Under the Provisions, formulated with the aim to ensure the public’s right to information, participation, and supervision relating to judicial proceedings, all judgment documents from People’s Courts at all levels are required to be submitted to relevant authorities for online publication within seven days of their effective date. In addition, the Provisions provide that real names of the parties generally should be retained to meet the needs of public access to information. These rules are formulated to balance the public’s right to know against the protection of personal privacy. In sum, the Provisions indicate a critical improvement in China in terms of both independence and transparency of the judiciary and the protection of personal privacy.

Read more Draft Rules to Introduce First Personal Health Data Protection Framework

Public consultation on a draft regulation on the administration of personal health information (PHI) (the regulation) - published by the Chinese National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC) on 19 November 2013 - closed on 20 December 2014. The final regulation, when promulgated, will introduce the first dedicated framework for the protection of PHI in the People's Republic of China (PRC). Under the regulation, PHI is defined as basic personal information, electronic health records, electronic medical records, and information collected for the purposes of administration and management of health institutions' services. This regulation's expansive definition of PHI provides additional clarity and guidance for the scope of personal medical information protected within the PRC. Under the regulation, greater protection will be accorded to PHI, such as the requirement to inform the data subjects of the purpose of data collection and obtaining their consent, and prohibiting the collection or use of PHI for commercial reasons. Furthermore, health institutions will be required to establish rules on identity verification and access to databases containing PHI and the storage of PHI will be restricted to servers located in China. The regulation does not currently specify any remedial measures for contravention of its provisions.

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