China issues rules on social credit system amid public concerns

BEIJING (Reuters) - China has issued guidelines on the development of its social credit system aimed at building trust in businesses and individuals amid public concerns over data management and invasion of privacy.
The country has developed a complex social credit system that uses data and other information to assess the trustworthiness of individuals, businesses, and government agencies, and to prevent trade fraud, tax and debt evasion.
However, due to weak regulations and law enforcement in the country, the program has raised public concerns over intrusive data collection, data protection and invasion of privacy.
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The cabinet issued guidelines on Thursday that the government will promote quality development of its social credit system and establish a long-term mechanism to prevent dishonest behavior and create a "fair and honest market environment".
According to the guidelines, data and information about dishonest behavior by companies or individuals and related penalties will be handled according to the guidelines.
In the guidelines, the cabinet said China will learn from global experience in building its credit system and follow international standards, being cautious in areas where there are significant public concerns.
According to the guidelines, China will seek to improve data collection and exchanges between government departments, and the disclosure of public credit information will not violate trade secrets or privacy.
China will focus on overseeing financial institutions, rating agencies, internet companies and data companies to strictly regulate the collection, storage, use, processing and disclosure of personal data.
(Reporting by Kevin Yao; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

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