Academy’s report stresses mobile data security

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The China Academy of Information and Communications Technology has published a report that urged Chinese internet companies to step up efforts for mobile data security and to curb data monopoly.

In the report, the academy highlighted that data have become a prerequisite for digital economy prowess.

Countries worldwide will leverage digital economy to drive growth of the next industrial revolution, the academy said in the report.

There are more than 3.5 million mobile apps in the Chinese market. These have been distributed or downloaded via third-party app stores in China more than 1.4 trillion times.

Given such staggering numbers, protecting data security is of significance, especially as digital economy has gained fresh momentum through deep penetration into various industries and from activities relating to the economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, the report said.

“Data have become a new type of production factor. Data will have an important impact on the nation’s economic development, social governance and people’s daily lives and work,” said Du Guangda, deputy director of cybersecurity administration of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

According to the CAICT report, China’s internet-based companies should ensure data’s safety and legal use. Misuse or illegal use of data as well as data monopoly will greatly weaken the vitality of the development of the country’s digital economy.

Yi Tong, a researcher at the Beijing Academy of Science and Technology, said: “The value of data cannot be maximized if a certain company uses it exclusively. Data from various departments, fields and industries need to be fully combined and correlated.”

Currently, most of the leading internet-based companies or online platforms have cultivated massive numbers of users and enjoy a sort of monopoly in data collection and use. There are no clear rules on data circulation and the existing laws are not enough for data’s proper utilization and curbing monopolies, she said.

According to Yi, a flexible data flow policy will help China to gain an edge in global competitiveness, especially as economies like the United States and Europe have already started to leverage their data.

The US launched an action plan last year to make data a strategic resource, while Germany has proposed an action plan to build a standard communication structure for safe data circulation.

During the 13th Five-Year Plan period (2016-20), the country’s data factor market, which includes data collection, cleanout, labels and transactions, expanded rapidly.

The size or value of the data factor market reached around 54.5 billion yuan ($8.37 billion) last year, the MIIT said.

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