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Experts say enhanced safety needed to protect personal data online (2)

(Xinhua)

09:35, January 04, 2012

Huang Linpeng, an information security expert from Shanghai Jiaotong University, backed this notion, arguing that in a contractual context, ISPs assume the duties of supervising and protecting customers' information and privacy when they request such information.

Therefore, ISPs should fix loopholes regularly and report hacker attacks to Internet supervisory authorities in a timely manner, Huang added.

However, in addition to technical approaches, strict process management is also needed for sensitive content, said Wang Zhantao, an information security expert with Rising, one of the country's leading providers of information security services.

Moreover, proper laws and regulations on banning the sale or use of personal information for commercial purposes are badly needed, said Liu Deliang, a professor of law from Beijing Normal University.

Professor Liu said the value of personal information belongs to each person and is protected by civil laws, adding that any sale of personal information without an individual's permission is considered an infringement.

China has already introduced a string of regulations to facilitate Internet security development, including recent efforts requiring microbloggers to register for such services using their real names, and the country is dedicated to building a healthy networking environment.

The State Council, China's Cabinet, has pledged that the government will accelerate the development of the next-generation Internet industry over the next few years and boost the sector's role in stimulating the economy.

"Network and information security protection will be strengthened so as to comprehensively improve the safety and credibility of the next-generation Internet industry," according to a statement released after an executive meeting of the State Council presided over by Premier Wen Jiabao last week.

The China Internet Network Information Center said that China has the world's largest Internet population, with the number of Internet users reaching 485 million by last June.

However, a high percentage of that population had experienced cyber attacks.

In the first half of 2011, a total of 217 million Chinese Internet users, or 44.7 percent of the online population at that time, had been attacked by malware, including viruses or Trojan horses, and 121 million had the experience of having their accounts or passwords stolen, according to the center.

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