The State Council has launched legislation procedures on personal information protection law in a bid to better safeguard citizens' privacy.
Media reports said a Chinese website publicly put nine thousand pieces of detailed personal data on sale, causing widespread social concern. The disclosure of private phone numbers, home and work place addresses and financial records seriously infringes on the privacy and life of the general public.
The current draft stipulates that personal information, as a part of a person's right of privacy, is a citizen's "intangible property", and those who steal other's personal information for financial gain are in violation of the law and shall be dully punished.
(CRI January 9, 2006)