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This article was published on July 27, 2010


    New municipal law in China: adults can’t spy on kids’ digital lives

    New municipal law in China: adults can’t spy on kids’ digital lives
    Chad Catacchio
    Story by

    Chad Catacchio

    Chad Catacchio is a contributor writing on a variety of topics in tech. He has held management positions at a number of tech companies in th Chad Catacchio is a contributor writing on a variety of topics in tech. He has held management positions at a number of tech companies in the US and China. Check out his personal blog to connect with him or follow him on Twitter (if you dare).

    A new municipal law aimed at protecting minors from the prying eyes of adults (including parents) has been passed in Chongqing, China. Yes, you read that right: children in Chongqing can legally tell their parents to stay out of their digital lives.

    The law, the first of its kind in China, was passed on Friday by municipal authorities and means that, “parents will be forbidden from secretly searching through children’s computers or cell phones for emails, diaries, web chats or short messages,” according to the China Daily. Ah, the freedoms a teenager in central China has…

    Even though 42% of an online survey of 2,500 adults done by Sina.com opposed the regulation, Lu Yulin, a professor at the China Youth University of Political Science, said, “[The regulation] will bring little change, as parents who habitually check such information won’t stop due to the regulation,” but that nonetheless it is a major step forward in child privacy protection (again, from the China Daily report).

    Notes: We said “provincial” in the original title, however, “municipal” is probably the more correct term and we’ve changed it to that, as Chongqing is technically a municipality – though that means it holds the same administrative status as a province in China – and is nearly as big as one (if you really want to learn more about all this, check out Wikipedia). Also, the People’s Daily piece called it a “regional law” so we’re assuming that it is therefore a municipal law, and not restricted to just Chongqing city proper.