Never Sacrifice Personal Data Property Rights in the Big Data Era
Yicai Global
/SOURCE : Yicai
Never Sacrifice Personal Data Property Rights in the Big Data Era

(Yicai Global) Nov. 8 -- In the Big Data era, personal information has become a kind of property. Data that brings value is a kind of asset, the basic principle of data ownership is that someone's data only belongs to himself. The development of Big Data applications shall never be at the expense of personal property data rights.

The advancement of technologies including the internet, mobile internet, the Internet of Things, and wearable equipment enables more behaviors of enterprises and individuals to be recorded and analyzed.

The resultant data is also becoming a basic element for economic growth and social development like other production factors including land, labor and capital.

These involve both public and personal interests. Therefore, such information shall be more public-oriented. Public data resources refer to data resources that are not associated with any specific subject, which means that the data after being encrypted cannot lead to any specific individual or company and thus can be sold to the public after processing.

As the providers of the data are responsible for the processing, it can charge fees for its data services, including maps of the flow of social capital and commodity supplies, and charts of the current financial state of play. Data that is associated with an individual's behavioral characteristics including his natural actions, his property, debts, health conditions and interests, all belong to the individual. However, the data provided to clients is also shared with the supplier.

What then is meant by data ownership? In April, 2016, the European Union released the General Data Protection Regulation, which stipulates that people should have easier access to his or her personal data and the right to rectify, erase or to object its use.

They can take issue with the use of personal data for 'profiling'. The EU regulation also includes cases where subject rights are restricted. This poses a challenge to credit assessment enterprises as the application of big data is vital to the development of their industry.

The internal credit assessment within financial institutions and the credit information provided by a third party are correlative yet independent.

Under authorization of clients, financial institutions and credit reporting agencies can look into personal information related to customer's economic activities, such as current account information, water and electricity bills, provident funds, other payment information and e-commerce information.

Per the EU, 'profiling' refers to any form of automated processing of personal data with the intention to analyze or predict their personality or behavior. A lot of internet services such as e-commerce sites are now associated with profiling. They can record and use data about the person's health, economic situation, performance at work, personal preferences or interests, reliability or behavior, location or movements.

The third draft of China's Network Security Law has been submitted to the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress for deliberation. Under the law, internet operators are prohibited from leaking, falsifying or damaging collected personal information.

If this law is passed, purchasing online data in bulk is likely to be restricted. The credit reporting industry can be used as a test case. If applying for credit, a private citizen has the following rights to their personal data: the right to be informed, the right to see their own credit reports without charge.

They have the right to rebuild credit, when an individual has recovered their credit rating and has been solvent for five to seven years, he or she has the right to ask credit reporting agencies to no longer to display bad credit ratings.

The ultimate objectives of technological advance and social progress are to offer greater security and freedom to mankind. A citizen's right to own, use, make profits from or dispose of their personal data should be guaranteed.

(Wu Xiaoling, vice chairman of the Financial and Economic Affairs Committee of the National People's Congress, China's top legislative body.)

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