Notice concerning Punishing Criminal Activities Infringing Citizens’ Personal Data

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GTZ No. [2013]12

All provincial, autonomous region and municipal People’s Courts, People’s Procuratorate, public security offices and bureaus, the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region Higher People’s Court Production-Construction Corps Branch Court, the Xinjiang Production-Construction Corps People’s Procuratorate and Public Security Bureau:

In recent years, following the rapid development of our country’s economy and the broad spread of information networks, unlawful and criminal infringement of citizens’ personal data has become more prominent every day, there is a flood of illegal trading of citizens’ personal data on the Internet, and as a result, the spread of telecommunications swindles, network swindles, extortion and blackmail, kidnapping and illegal loan repayment demands and other such crimes had become ceaseless despite repeated attacks, social harm is great, and the masses react strongly. In order to effectively restrain and punish criminal infringement of citizens’ personal data, realistically guarantee the security of the broad popular masses’ personal data and their lawful rights and interests, stimulate coordinated social development, and safeguard social harmony and stability, the relevant matters are hereby notified as follows:

I, Realistically raise understanding, firmly attack criminal activities infringing citizens’ personal data. At present, a number of criminals use the Internet to scalp citizens’ personal data on a large scale, in pursuit of unlawful gain, this has gradually shaped a huge “underground industry” and black profit chains. Traded personal data includes household registry, bank information, telecommunications account data, etc., and involves every aspect of citizens’ individual lives. Some work personnel in a number of State organs and financial, telecommunications, traffic, education, healthcare and maintenance companies, housing intermediaries, insurance, courier and other such enterprise and undertaking work units have sold or illegally provided citizens’ personal data that they have obtained in the process of carrying out their duties or providing services. Intermediary agents of obtained information have established data platforms on the Internet, and sell information on a large scale, seeking quick and huge profits. Illegal survey companies engage in illegal loan repayment demands, swindles, extortion, blackmail and other such unlawful and criminal activities on the basis of these data. This sort of crime not only gravely harms citizens’ information security, it also extremely easily triggers many kinds of crimes, it has become the source of telecommunications swindles, network swindles as well as harassing “soft violence”, and other new forms of crime, it is even linked to criminal activities such as kidnapping, extortion, blackmail, violent pressing for payment, etc., it influences the popular masses’ sense of security and threatens social harmony and stability. All levels’ public security organs, People’s Procuratorate and People’s Courts must soberly understand the grave harm of this sort of crime, and unify thoughts, raise understandings, organize matters meticulously and deploy matters carefully with a spirit of high responsibility towards the Party and the people, and punish criminal activities infringing citizens’ personal data according to the law.

II, Correctly use laws, realize the organic unity of legal effects and social effects. Criminal infringement of citizens’ personal data is a new type of crime, all levels’ public security organs, People’s Procuratorate and People’s Courts must , from the height of realistically protecting citizens’ personal data security and safeguarding social harmony and stability, learn from past successful precedent, comprehensively consider the frequency at which personal data was traded, illegally provided or illegally obtained, their quantities and methods, as well as profit values, the damaging consequences created and other such factors, expand attacking strength according to the law, and guarantee that fine legal effects and social effects are obtained. The criminal subjects selling or illegally providing citizens’ personal information, apart from world personnel in State organs or financial, telecommunications, traffic, education and healthcare work units, also include work personnel of other enterprise and undertaking work units in commercial, housing industry and other service sectors, who have obtained citizens’ personal data in the process of implementing their duties or providing services. Citizens’ personal data includes citizens’ names, ages, valid identity document numbers, marital situations, work units, study history, professional history, household addresses, telephone numbers, and other such information and data materials with which citizens’ identities can be distinguished or that involve citizens’ personal privacy. Where citizens’ personal data that is obtained in the process of carrying out duties or providing services is sold or illegally transferred to other persons, and used by other persons to commit crimes, which result in personal injury or death to the victim, or that cause major economic damage, or nasty social influences, or where the quantity of illegally provided citizens’ personal data is relatively large, or the amount of unlawful income is relatively high, criminal liability shall be prosecuted for the crime of trading or illegally providing citizens’ personal data, according to the law. Where the quantity of citizens’ personal data that is illegally obtained through theft, purchasing or other such methods is relatively large, or the amount of unlawful income is relatively high, or other grave consequences result, criminal liability shall be investigated for the crime of illegally obtaining citizens’ personal data, according to the law. Where illegally obtained personal data is used to commit other criminal activities, where these constitute a crime, combined punishment shall be imposed according to the law. Where work units carry out criminal infringement of personal data, the criminal liability of the directly responsible person in charge and other directly responsible personnel shall be investigated. The application strength of financial punishments must be expanded according to the law, to deprive criminals of their illegal gains and the capital to commit crimes again.

III, Strengthen coordination and cooperation, guarantee that law enforcement and the judiciary work in a timely and high-efficiency manner. The criminal infringement of citizens’ personal information is large in terms of network coverage, and complex and intricate in terms of relations. The location of the criminal act, the location where the result of the crime occurs and the locality of the criminal are often not the same place. At the same time, because criminal activities rely on the Internet and mobile electronic equipment for the most part, and are implemented through real-time communications tools, e-mail and many other such methods, the difficulty of investigation and gathering evidence is great. All levels’ public security organs, People’s Procuratorate and People’s Courts must, on the basis of implementing their work responsibilities and carrying out their duties according to the law and in a high-efficiency manner, further strengthen communication and coordination, concert efforts, work together and cooperate closely, to guarantee that case filing, investigation, authorization of arrests, examination and charging, judgments and all other segments go smoothly. With regard to criminal cases infringing citizens’ personal data that are tracked down, public security organs must, according to the principle of localized jurisdiction, timely file and investigate cases, and timely submit them for examination and charging. In cases where several public security organs all have jurisdictional powers, the public security organ that accepts it first has jurisdiction. When necessary, it is permitted that the public security organ of the main criminal location has jurisdiction. In criminal cases where jurisdiction is unclear or disputed, it is permitted that relevant public security organs consult with each other. Where consultation is unsuccessful, jurisdiction is appointed by their joint higher-level public security organ. In cases where jurisdiction is appointed, and it is necessary to arrest criminal suspects, the public security organ that has been appointed as having jurisdiction submits a request to the same level’s People’s Procuratorate for examination and approval; where it is necessary to bring charges, the public security organ in question submits matters to the same level’s People’s Procuratorate for examination and decision; where the People’s Procuratorate believes that in a case that is being examined for bringing charges, according to the jurisdictional provisions of criminal procedure law, a higher-level People’s Procuratorate of another People’s Procuratorate at the same level should bring charges, it shall transfer the case to the People’s Procuratorate with jurisdictional powers; where the People’s Procuratorate believes that it is necessary to appoint trial jurisdiction according to the provisions of criminal procedure law, it shall consult with the same level’s People’s Court to handle matters related to the appointment of jurisdiction. In the process of handling criminal cases infringing citizens’ personal data, where cases are difficult or complex, People’s Procuratorate may, at all times, send personnel to conduct research, communication and coordination with public security organs concerning evidence collection and other such aspects. Where the People’s Procuratorate must as soon as possible permit the arrest and bringing of charges in cases where public security organs have requested the approval of arrests, and transmitted the case for examination and charges, where the cases conform to conditions for arrests and bringing charges; where it is truly necessary to conduct supplementary investigations, concrete and detailed outlines for supplementary investigations must be formulated. People’s Courts must strengthen judgment strength, correctly determine matters, rapidly bring cases to trial and rapidly resolve them, according to the law.

IV, Move comprehensive governance forward. Establish long-term prevention and attack work mechanisms. Preventing and attacking criminal infringement of citizens’ personal data is an arduous task, and both root causes and symptoms must be treated, long-term work mechanisms for prevention and attack must be vigorously explored and built up. All localities’ public security organs, People’s Procuratorate and People’s Courts must, at the same time as punishing this sort of crime according to the law, vigorously participate in comprehensive governance, pay attention to discovering loopholes and hidden dangers in protection work of citizens’ personal data, timely notify corresponding departments, warn and supervise relevant departments and work units’ strengthening their management and perfecting structures. Newspapers, radio, television, network and other such media platforms must be fully used to forcefully propagate the determination and strength of the Party and country to attack this sort of crime, propagate corresponding policies, laws and regulations, remind and educate the broad masses to use the law to guarantee and safeguard their own lawful rights and interests, and raise their consciousness about and ability for self-protection.

After all localities receive this Notice, please rapidly transmit them to all levels’ People’s Courts, People’s Procuratorate and public security organs. Please timely report problems occurring in implementation to the Supreme People’s Court, Supreme People’s Procuratorate and Ministry of Public Security.

Supreme People’s Court

Supreme People’s Procuratorate

Ministry of Public Security

23 April 2013

最高人民法院 最高人民检察院 公安部关于依法惩处侵害公民个人信息犯罪活动的通知




One thought on “Notice concerning Punishing Criminal Activities Infringing Citizens’ Personal Data

    Latest Updates | China Copyright and Media said:
    January 4, 2014 at 10:02 am

    […] Notice concerning Punishing Criminal Activities Infringing Citizens’ Personal Data (Supreme People’s Court et al., 2013) […]

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