In a bid to better safeguard citizens' privacy, China will publish national standards for personal information protection in the first half of this year, said a senior official on Thursday.
The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) has drafted guidelines for personal information protection in public and business services, and submitted the draft to the nation's Standardization Administration for technical approval, said Ouyang Wu, an official with the ministry.
The non-obligatory guidelines will be supported by related standards regarding technology safeguards, auditing, management and authentication, according to Ouyang.
"These standards will help determine responsibility before disputes occur and drive enterprises to act in accordance with the guidelines," he said, adding that among those is the "prevention first" principle.
The government will also support third-party professional bodies intervening in the investigation of enterprises, he said.
Chinese experts have called for new legislation following a spate of personal information leaks that sent millions of netizens into panic mode.