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China Launches Fresh Crackdown On Spy Cameras In A Bid To Tighten Digital Privacy Laws


republicworld– Chinese authorities have launched a new crackdown on spy cameras in an effort to tighten enforcement of digital protection and privacy laws. Under the new law, social and e-commerce platforms in China will face “severe” punishment if they fail to remove spy camera tutorials, hidden camera videos, and cheap, easily-compromised cameras from their platforms. The Chinese Cyberspace Administration, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the Public Security Bureau, and the State Administration for Market Regulation announced a three-month crackdown on the huge underground market for spy cameras and hidden-camera videos in a joint announcement on Friday, June 11, according to South China Morning Post (SCMP).

China crackdown on spy cameras

Spy cameras have recently been more commonly available in China and have been discovered in hotel rooms, public restrooms, and even private residences. Tutorials on how to gain access to home security camera feeds can be purchased on social media sites.  Regulators are now demanding that Internet platforms and camera manufacturers do their part to solve these flagrant privacy abuses, and social media companies have been told to remove hacking instructions, exploitation tools, and secretly recorded footage.

The regulators stated in the notification that internet companies who fail to make these corrections will be “severely punished” under the law and regulations. Despite these orders, SCMP noted that tiny cameras were still spotted on China’s largest e-commerce sites, including Taobao Marketplace, JD.com, and Pinduoduo, largely marketed as security monitoring solutions.

Digital privacy laws in China

The clean-up campaign follows the announcement of China’s Data Security Law, which is set to take effect on September 1. It is a significant new national law, that establishes a legal framework for data management in China’s digital economy. According to the new law, organizations and people engaged in data processing operations who fail to meet their data security protection requirements face fines of up to 500,000 yuan, with fines of up to 2 million yuan for larger data leaks.

Alex Roberts, counsel for technology, media, and telecommunications at global law firm Linklaters had informed, “The law calls on top government agencies to formulate national data security strategies, policies and coordinate a comprehensive data governance system across regions and industry departments.”

As China’s crackdown on digital companies intensified, the government urged Internet titans to disclose information with authorities and asserted its control over data held by US corporations in China. Furthermore, Beijing is increasing the pressure on foreign companies doing business in China to preserve records obtained from local clients inside the nation, giving the government additional control over the data.