• China working on data privacy law but enforcement is a stumbling block | South China Morning Post

    En Chine des scientifiques s’inquiètent de la collection de données sans limites et des abus possibles par le gouvernment et des acteurs privés. Au niveau politique on essaye d’introduire des lois protégeant les données et la vie privée. D’après l’article les véritables problèmes se poseront lors de l’implémentation d’une nouvelle législation en la matière.

    Echo Xie 5 May, 2019 - Biometric data in particular needs to be protected from abuse from the state and businesses, analysts say
    Country is expected to have 626 million surveillance cameras fitted with facial recognition software by 2020

    In what is seen as a major step to protect citizens’ personal information, especially their biometric data, from abuse, China’s legislators are drafting a new law to safeguard data privacy, according to industry observers – but enforcement remains a major concern.

    “China’s private data protection law will be released and implemented soon, because of the fast development of technology, and the huge demand in society,” Zeng Liaoyuan, associate professor at the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, said in an interview .

    Technology is rapidly changing life in China but relevant regulations had yet to catch up, Zeng said.

    Artificial intelligence and its many applications constitute a major component of China’s national plan. In 2017, the “Next Generation Artificial Intelligence Development Plan” called for the country to become the world leader in AI innovation by 2030.

    Biometrics authentication is used in computer science as an identification or access control. It includes fingerprinting, face recognition, DNA, iris recognition, palm prints and other methods.

    In particular, the use of biometric data has grown exponentially in key areas: scanning users’ fingerprints or face to pay bills, to apply for social security qualification and even to repay loans. But the lack of an overarching law lets companies gain access to vast quantities of an individual’s personal data, a practice that has raised privacy concerns.

    During the “two sessions” last month, National People’s Congress spokesman Zhang Yesui said the authorities had hastened the drafting of a law to protect personal data, but did not say when it would be completed or enacted.

    One important focus, analysts say, is ensuring that the state does not abuse its power when collecting and using private data, considering the mass surveillance systems installed in China.

    “This is a big problem in China,” said Liu Deliang, a law professor at Beijing Normal University. “Because it’s about regulating the government’s abuse of power, so it’s not only a law issue but a constitutional issue.”

    The Chinese government is a major collector and user of privacy data. According to IHS Markit, a London-based market research firm, China had 176 million surveillance cameras in operation in 2016 and the number was set to reach 626 million by 2020.

    In any proposed law, the misuse of data should be clearly defined and even the government should bear legal responsibility for its misuse, Liu said.

    “We can have legislation to prevent the government from misusing private data but the hard thing is how to enforce it.”

    Especially crucial, legal experts say, is privacy protection for biometric data.

    “Compared with other private data, biometrics has its uniqueness. It could post long-term risk and seriousness of consequence,” said Wu Shenkuo, an associate law professor at Beijing Normal University.

    “Therefore, we need to pay more attention to the scope and limitations of collecting and using biometrics.”

    Yi Tong, a lawmaker from Beijing, filed a proposal concerning biometrics legislation at the National People’s Congress session last month.

    “Once private biometric data is leaked, it’s a lifetime leak and it will put the users’ private data security into greater uncertainty, which might lead to a series of risks,” the proposal said.

    Yi suggested clarifying the boundary between state power and private rights, and strengthening the management of companies.

    In terms of governance, Wu said China should specify the qualifications entities must have before they can collect, use and process private biometric data. He also said the law should identify which regulatory agencies would certify companies’ information.

    There was a need to restrict government behaviour when collecting private data, he said, and suggested some form of compensation for those whose data was misused.

    “Private data collection at the government level might involve the need for the public interest,” he said. “In this case, in addition to ensuring the legal procedure, the damage to personal interests should be compensated.”

    Still, data leaks, or overcollecting, is common in China.

    A survey released by the China Consumers Association in August showed that more than 85 per cent of respondents had suffered some sort of data leak, such as their cellphone numbers being sold to spammers or their bank accounts being stolen.

    Another report by the association in November found that of the 100 apps it investigated, 91 had problems with overcollecting private data.

    One of them, MeituPic, an image editing software program, was criticised for collecting too much biometric data.

    The report also cited Ant Financial Services, the operator of the Alipay online payments service, for the way it collects private data, which it said was incompatible with the national standard. Ant Financial is an affiliate of Alibaba Group, which owns the South China Morning Post.

    In January last year, Ant Financial had to apologise publicly for automatically signing up users for a social credit programme without obtaining their consent.

    “When a company asks for a user’s private data, it’s unscrupulous, because we don’t have a law to limit their behaviour,” Zeng said.

    “Also it’s about business competition. Every company wants to hold its customers, and one way is to collect their information as much as possible.”

    Tencent and Alibaba, China’s two largest internet companies, did not respond to requests for comment about the pending legislation.

    #Chine #droit #vie_privée #surveillance #politique

  • China’s Alipay digital wallet is entering 7,000 Walgreens stores

    China’s payments heavyweights have been following tourists abroad as their home market gets crowded. Ant Financial, Alibaba’s financial affiliate with a valuation of $150 billion, now sees its virtual wallet Alipay handling transactions at 3,000 Walgreens stores in the U.S. and is eyeing to reach a roster of 7,000 locations by April. The alliance will make it breezier for Chinese tourists eager to pick up vitamin supplements and cosmetics from the pharmacy giant, doing away with the hassle (...)

    #Alibaba #Ant #Walgreens #WeChat #voyageurs #marketing


  • WeChat Pay and Alipay are now targeting the 3 million Chinese travelers visiting the U.S. every year

    As their domestic market is reaching maturity, the two Chinese mobile payment services are looking toward new horizons. But the ongoing trade war could dampen their hopes. In February, Alipay, a Chinese mobile payment app that belongs to the Alibaba Group, forged an alliance with Walgreens, a U.S. pharmacy store chain. Alipay is now handling transactions in 3,000 Walgreens stores in the U.S., and is eyeing to reach 7,000 locations by April. It isn’t the first push made by Alibaba to expand (...)

    #7-Eleven #Alibaba #Apple #Google #Stripe #Walgreens #Tencent #Samsung #JPMorgan_Chase #Paypal #smartphone #marketing #profiling #Alipay #payement_par_téléphone #voyageurs #WeChatPay #Citcon (...)


  • Inside China’s Vast New Experiment in Social Ranking

    In 2015, when Lazarus Liu moved home to China after studying logistics in the United Kingdom for three years, he quickly noticed that something had changed : Everyone paid for everything with their phones. At McDonald’s, the convenience store, even at mom-and-pop restaurants, his friends in Shanghai used mobile payments. Cash, Liu could see, had been largely replaced by two smartphone apps : Alipay and WeChat Pay. One day, at a vegetable market, he watched a woman his mother’s age pull out (...)

    #Alibaba #Tencent #WeChat #Baidu #carte #smartphone #réseaux #StateControl #contrôle #SocialNetwork #prédictif #journalisme #surveillance #vidéo-surveillance #web #marketing (...)


  • 22 eerie photos show how China uses facial...

    22 eerie photos show how China uses facial recognition to track its citizens as they travel, shop — and even use toilet paper There are 170 million surveillance cameras in China. By 2020, the country hopes to have 570 million – that’s nearly one camera for every two citizens. At the same time, China is a building a national database that will recognize any citizen withinthree seconds. Though that system probably won’t be unveiled for a number of years, facial recognition is widespread in (...)

    #Alibaba #SenseTime #Alipay #CCTV #biométrie #facial #voix #Islam #voyageurs #surveillance #vidéo-surveillance (...)


  • In China, a Three-Digit Score Could Dictate Your Place in Society | WIRED

    In 2013, Ant Financial executives retreated to the mountains outside Hangzhou to discuss creating a slew of new products; one of them was Zhima Credit. The executives realized that they could use the data-collecting powers of Alipay to calculate a credit score based on an individual’s activities. “It was a very natural process,” says You Xi, a Chinese business reporter who detailed this pivotal meeting in a recent book, Ant Financial. “If you have payment data, you can assess the credit of a person.” And so the tech company began the process of creating a score that would be “credit for everything in your life,” as You explains it.

    Ant Financial wasn’t the only entity keen on using data to measure people’s worth. Coincidentally or not, in 2014 the Chinese government announced it was developing what it called a system of “social credit.” In 2014, the State Council, China’s governing cabinet, publicly called for the establishment of a nationwide tracking system to rate the reputations of individuals, businesses, and even government officials. The aim is for every Chinese citizen to be trailed by a file compiling data from public and private sources by 2020, and for those files to be searchable by fingerprints and other biometric characteristics. The State Council calls it a “credit system that covers the whole society.”

    For the Chinese Communist Party, social credit is an attempt at a softer, more invisible authoritarianism. The goal is to nudge people toward behaviors ranging from energy conservation to obedience to the Party. Samantha Hoffman, a consultant with the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London who is researching social credit, says that the government wants to preempt instability that might threaten the Party. “That’s why social credit ideally requires both coercive aspects and nicer aspects, like providing social services and solving real problems. It’s all under the same Orwellian umbrella.”

    The State Council has signaled that under the national social credit system people will be penalized for the crime of spreading online rumors, among other offenses, and that those deemed “seriously untrustworthy” can expect to receive substandard services. Ant Financial appears to be aiming for a society divided along moral lines as well. As Lucy Peng, the company’s chief executive, was quoted as saying in Ant Financial, Zhima Credit “will ensure that the bad people in society don’t have a place to go, while good people can move freely and without obstruction.”

    As Liu amassed a favorable transaction and payment history on Alipay, his score naturally improved. But it could go down if he neglected to pay a traffic fine, for example. And the privileges that come with a high score might someday be revoked for behaviors that have nothing to do with consumer etiquette. In June 2015, as 9.4 million Chinese teenagers took the grueling national college entrance examination, Hu Tao, the Zhima Credit general manager, told reporters that Ant Financial hoped to obtain a list of students who cheated, so that the fraud could become a blight on their Zhima Credit records. “There should be consequences for dishonest behavior,” she avowed. The good were moving without obstruction. A threat hung over the rest.

    The algorithm behind my Zhima Credit score is a corporate secret. Ant Financial officially lists five broad categories of information that feed into the score, but the company provides only the barest of details about how these ingredients are cooked together. Like any conventional credit scoring system, Zhima Credit monitors my spending history and whether I have repaid my loans. But elsewhere the algorithm veers into voodoo, or worse. A category called Connections considers the credit of my contacts in Alipay’s social network. Characteristics takes into consideration what kind of car I drive, where I work, and where I went to school. A category called Behavior, meanwhile, scrutinizes the nuances of my consumer life, zeroing in on actions that purportedly correlate with good credit. Shortly after Zhima Credit’s launch, the company’s technology director, Li Yingyun, told the Chinese magazine Caixin that spending behavior like buying diapers, say, could boost one’s score, while playing videogames for hours on end could lower it. Online speculation held that donating to charity, presumably through Alipay’s built-in donation service, was good. But I’m not sure whether the $3 I gave for feeding brown bear cubs qualifies me as a philanthropist or a cheapskate.

    Then, in 2010, Suining became one of the first areas in China to pilot a social credit system. Officials there began assessing residents on a range of criteria, including education level, online behavior, and how well they followed traffic laws. Each of Suining’s 1.1 million citizens older than 14 started out with 1,000 points, and points were added or deducted based on behavior. Taking care of elderly family members earned you 50 points. Helping the poor merited 10 points. Helping the poor in a way that was reported by the media: 15. A drunk driving conviction meant the loss of 50 points, as did bribing an official. After the points were tallied up, citizens were assigned grades of A, B, C, or D. Grade A citizens would be given priority for school admissions and employment, while D citizens would be denied licenses, permits, and access to some social services.

    Although Liu hadn’t signed up for Zhima Credit, the blacklist caught up with him in other ways. He became, effectively, a second-class citizen. He was banned from most forms of travel; he could only book the lowest classes of seat on the slowest trains. He could not buy certain consumer goods or stay at luxury hotels, and he was ineligible for large bank loans. Worse still, the blacklist was public. Liu had already spent a year in jail once before on charges of “fabricating and spreading rumors” after reporting on the shady dealings of a vice-mayor of Chong­qing. The memory of imprisonment left him stoic about this new, more invisible punishment. At least he was still with his wife and daughter.

    Still, Liu took to his blog to stir up sympathy and convince the judge to take him off the list. As of October he was still on it. “There is almost no oversight of the court executors” who maintain the blacklist, he told me. “There are many mistakes in implementation that go uncorrected.” If Liu had a Zhima Credit score, his troubles would have been compounded by other worries. The way Zhima Credit is designed, being blacklisted sends you on a rapid downward spiral. First your score drops. Then your friends hear you are on the blacklist and, fearful that their scores might be affected, quietly drop you as a contact. The algorithm notices, and your score plummets further.

    Now I had two tracking systems scoring me, on opposite sides of the globe. But these were only the scores that I knew about. Most Americans have dozens of scores, many of them drawn from behavioral and demographic metrics similar to those used by Zhima Credit, and most of them held by companies that give us no chance to opt out. Others we enter into voluntarily. The US government can’t legally compel me to participate in some massive data-driven social experiment, but I give up my data to private companies every day. I trust these corporations enough to participate in their vast scoring experiments. I post my thoughts and feelings on Facebook and leave long trails of purchases on Amazon and eBay. I rate others in Airbnb and Uber and care a little too much about how others rate me. There is not yet a great American super app, and the scores compiled by data brokers are mainly used to better target ads, not to exert social control. But through a process called identity resolution, data aggregators can use the clues I leave behind to merge my data from various sources.

    Do you take antidepressants? Frequently return clothes to retailers? Write your name in all caps when filling out online forms? Data brokers collect all of this information and more. As in China, you may even be penalized for who your friends are. In 2012, Facebook patented a method of credit assessment that could consider the credit scores of people in your network. The patent describes a tool that arrives at an average credit score for your friends and rejects a loan application if that average is below a certain minimum. The company has since revised its platform policies to prohibit outside lenders from using Facebook data to determine credit eligibility. The company could still decide to get into the credit business itself, though. (“We often seek patents for technology we never implement, and patents should not be taken as an indication of future plans,” a Facebook spokesperson said in response to questions about the credit patent.) “You could imagine a future where people are watching to see if their friends’ credit is dropping and then dropping their friends if that affects them,” says Frank Pasquale, a big-data expert at University of Maryland Carey School of Law. “That’s terrifying.”

    #Surveillance #Evaluation #Monnaie_numérique #Chine #Social_credits

  • Why China Is Leading the Fintech Race - Knowledge Wharton

    But there are actually seven tech firms in the global top 10 now — the other two are Chinese: Alibaba and Tencent. In China, everyone knows “BAT” (Baidu, the Chinese Google, along with Alibaba and Tencent). There is much less BAT buzz outside China, for two reasons.

    First, the Chinese government’s “great firewall” around the internet not only restricts the flow of information in China, it also helps protect Chinese firms from international competition. Second, the Chinese tech companies have tended to be rapid adopters and adapters of innovations generated elsewhere rather than breakthrough inventors themselves.

    The first point continues to hold: “techno-nationalism” is a new term of concern in the West when it comes to China’s aspirations to chart its own course to global prominence in technology, by protecting the domestic market and always with a close eye on the IP of others.
    Knowledge@Wharton High School

    But the second reason for discounting Chinese tech — that they are incapable of creating true innovation — is rapidly receding as a viable criticism. Anyone who ignores Alibaba and Tencent does so at their own peril because of real innovations they are implementing in China, and what they hope to do globally tomorrow.

    When it comes to Alibaba, think less eBay meets Wal-Mart and Amazon, and more fintech. For Tencent, think less social media and e-sports and more fintech.

    Four hundred and sixty-nine million people made online payments in China in 2016. A larger number used phones to pay in offline retail stores. For comparison, the user base of Apple Pay, by far the dominant American player, was 12 million in the U.S. last year. I am now used to seeing people in China paying for everything from taxis and coffee to clothes and meals with either WeChat (Weixin) Pay or Alipay (Zhifubao) — another world from the China of the early 2000s when you had to pay hotel bills with a series of 100 RMB notes.

    No one knows who will win this global competition, but the recent history of digital payments underlines a key fact. The extraordinary innovativeness of the U.S. tech sector is justly acclaimed. However, it is no longer immune to the forces of globalization and global competition that have disrupted so many other industries in the past few decades.

    #GAFA #TAB #Chine #Fintech #Alibaba #Tencent #Baidu