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Beijing bans collecting religious belief, genetic details in new public credit info rules

(Global Times)    07:55, May 04, 2018

Beijing has released rules on the management of public credit information, saying that individuals who have a bad credit record would not get promoted, and that departments are banned from collecting an individual's religious and genetic information.

The Beijing Municipal Government issued a document on the management of public credit information on Thursday, which manages the administrative departments' collection, use and publishing of credit information, Legal Mirror reported on Thursday.

This includes the basic information of companies and individuals, and good and bad credit records. The records should be used as a reference in activities, including applying for national subsidies for research programs, employment and professional ranking.

Organizations and individuals who provide fake information, break their written commitment to administration departments or receive administrative penalties will be considered a bad record, the document says.

Organizations which have been held accountable in cases involving environmental pollution, food safety and quality problems would be tagged with bad records.

The document has been implemented starting May.

Individuals with bad records can not be promoted as a legal representative, senior manager or executive. And organizations with a bad record will undergo frequent checks from authorities and may face limitations in activities, including government procurement and State-owned land use transfers.

"Connecting individual credit to social benefits is necessary to enhance people's appreciation of their credit ratings," Wang Zhenyu, a fellow at the China Institute of International Studies, told the Global Times.

"And it was published in a timely manner when the internet and big data are widely used, wherein private credit information could easily be obtained by organizations and the government," Wang noted.

The regulation specified individual information that can be collected, such as name, ID card number, educational background and employment information.

Private information such as religious belief, genetic information, fingerprint, blood type and medical history is forbidden for credit record use, according to the regulation.

"This is a step forward in private information protection. Information such as religious belief and fingerprint are very private and have nothing to do with credit ratings, and should be protected," Wang said.

A previous regulation published in 2002, which set rules based solely on business credit, was abolished. The old regulation did not include provisions on private credit information or its protection, according to a release from Beijing Municipal Commission of Housing and Urban-rural development.

"Detailed regulations protecting private information should also be provided, such as identifying parties responsible for preventing the release of certain pieces of information," Wang suggested.

Similar programs have been piloted in other provinces such as East China's Shandong Province, North China's Hebei Province and Shanxi Province. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Liang Jun, Bianji)

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