On December 29, 2011, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology issued Several Provisions on Regulating the Market Order of Internet Information Service, which will take effect on March 15, 2012. The provisions prohibit internet information service providers ("IISPs") from taking actions that infringe upon the lawful rights and interests of other IISPs or users. In addition, the provisions govern the collection and use of users' personal information by IISPs. IISPs cannot collect users' personal information, or disclose it to others, without the users' consent. When collecting personal information, IISPs are required to inform users which information will be collected, how it will be collected and the purpose of collecting it. IISPs may not collect personal information for any purpose other than for rendering services. IISPs must store the personal information of users properly and take remedial measures immediately in the event of inadvertent disclosure (or potential disclosure) of personal information. Where a disclosure of personal information results in (or may result in) serious consequences, IISPs must immediately notify the telecom administrative authority and cooperate with an official investigation. Violations of the new provisions are punishable by warning, rectification order or fines.

The full Chinese text of the provisions is available here.

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