Mapping the development of China’s data protection law: Major actors, core values, and shifting power relations

Bo Zhao, Yang Feng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

This Article seeks to map the possible paths of the development of China’s data protection law by examining the changing power relations among three major actors - the State, digital enterprises and the public in the context of China’s booming data-driven economy. We argue that focusing on different core values, these three major actors are the key driving forces shaping China’s data protection regime. Their dynamic and multidimensional power relations have been casting the development of China’s data protection law with various uncertainties. When pursuing different, yet not always conflicting values, these three major actors may both cooperate and compete with each other. Based on our careful analysis of the shifting power relations, we identify and assess three possible paths of the development of China’s data protection law. We are much concerned that the proposed comprehensive data protection law might be a new attempt of the State to win legitimacy abroad, while actually trying to reinforce massive surveillance besides economic goals. We argue that a modest alternative may be that this law might show some genuine efforts for protecting data privacy, but still with poor enforcement. Last, we argue that the most desirable development would be that this law could provide basic but meaningful and effective protection for data privacy, and lay a good foundation for further development.
Original languageEnglish
Article number105498
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalComputer Law and Security Review
Volume40
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Keywords

  • China
  • data protection law
  • power relations
  • public security
  • economic development
  • privacy

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Mapping the development of China’s data protection law: Major actors, core values, and shifting power relations'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this