Editorial Notes

Data security vital to national security: China Daily

The paper says that China is attaching increasing importance to data security as it is a matter of national security.

A man watches a video on his mobile phone in Beijing on July 1, 2021. PHOTO: AFP

BEIJING (CHINA DAILY/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The investigations announced by China's Cyber Security Review Office into Yunmanman and Huochebang truck delivery platforms, Boss Zhipin recruitment website, as well as ride-hailing app Didi on Monday (July 5) send the message that the country is attaching increasing importance to the security of data.

The Cyber Security Review Office said in a statement that the probes are being undertaken to "prevent national data security risks, maintain national security, and protect the public interest".

Yunmanman and Huochebang, China's two major truck-hailing apps, merged in 2017 to create a new company - Full Truck Alliance - which listed on the New York Stock Exchange last month. Kanzhun, the parent company of Boss Zhipin, one of China's largest online job listing platforms, also listed on the exchange last month.

With the rapid development of digital technology, data has become not only an increasingly important resource for the development of the digital economy, but also the protection of data is becoming a matter that means a great deal to the national security of a country.

The more advanced digital technology becomes, the more efficient and extensive the utilisation of data will become. At the same time, however, the potential risks to national security from the acquiring, leaking or stealing of data become greater.

That explains why the country's Data Security Law was adopted at the 29th session of the Standing Committee of the 13th National People's Congress on June 10. This regulates the processing of data, protects the interest of individuals and organisations as far as their data is concerned, and at the same time promotes the healthy and efficient utilisation of data for the development of the digital economy.

The efficient and extensive use of data and the protection of data security are two sides of the same coin. Data will likely be abused and the interests of individuals and organisations concerned will likely be infringed upon or even placed in harm's way if the processing of data is not regulated and data not placed under strict protection.

There is also the risk of the acquisition of data by whatever means posing a serious threat to the national security of the country.

As such, the protection of data will be increasingly strengthened. This is what a country should and must do to guarantee that its digital economy develops in a healthy manner. For enterprises that are involved in the digital economy or online networks, compliance with the related security law or regulations on the protection of data is a must.

However profitable a business is, an enterprise must first take into consideration data security risks as far as the utilisation of data is concerned.

The investigation of Yunmanman, Huochebang, Boss Zhipin and Didi should serve as a reminder that enterprises concerned need to have a thorough overhaul over network security risks.

  • China Daily is a member of The Straits Times media partner Asia News Network, an alliance of 23 news media titles.

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