The Supreme People's Court, Supreme People's Procuratorate and Ministry of Public Security Notice on Lawfully Punishing Crimes Infringing on Citizens' Personal Information
Supreme People's Court Supreme People's Procuratorate Ministry of Public Security
Public Notice  No. 12
High people's courts, people's procuratorates and public security departments and bureaus of all provinces, autonomous regions and directly-governed municipalities, the Production and Construction Corps Branch of the Xinjiang Autonomous Region High Court, and the people's procuratorate and public security bureau of the Xinjiang Autonomous Region Production and Construction Corps:
In recent years, following China's rapid economic development and the prevalence of information networks, crimes infringing citizen's personal information are increasingly prominent, and the sale of citizen's personal information on the internet is commonplace, this has given rise to crimes such as telecommunications fraud, Internet scams, extortion, kidnapping and illegal debt collection, which persist despite efforts to control, are extremely harmful to society and about which the public has responded vehemently. The following notice is hereby made on these matters so as to effectively control and punish the infringement of citizens' personal information, to truly protect the personal information security lawful rights and interests of the public at large, to promote cooperative social development, and to maintain social harmony and stability:
First, truly raise awareness to resolutely crack down on criminal activity infringing citizens' personal rights. Today, in pursuit of unlawful benefits, some criminals use the internet to wantonly sell citizens' personal information, and this has already gradually formed an enormous 'underground industry' and chain of dark interests. Citizens' personal information that is bought and sold includes household registration, bank and television account materials and touches on every aspect of citizens' lives. Some employees of a few state organs and financial, telecommunications, transportation, education, medicine and also property management companies, real estate brokerages, insurance and courier enterprises, sell and illegally provide others with citizen's personal information that they have obtained during the course of performing their professional duties or providing services. Brokers in the obtained information establish data platforms on the Internet , wantonly selling information for excessive profits. Illegal investigation companies use this information to engage in illegal debt collection, fraud, blackmail and extortion, and other unlawful criminal activities. This kind of crime not only harms citizens' information security, but also too easily leads to many other kinds of crimes, becoming a source of new crimes such as telecommunications fraud, internet fraud, as well as nuisance type 'soft violence' and even combining with kidnapping , blackmail and extortion, violent debt collection and other criminal activities, impacting the public's feeling of safety and threatening social harmony and stability. Public security organs, people's procuratorates and people's courts of all levels must be clearly familiar with the serious harms of this type of crime, and, in the spirit of responsibility to the Party and people, unify their thinking, increase their familiarity, make careful deployments and punish criminal acivities infringing citizens' personal information in accordance with law.
Second, Correctly apply the law to bring about unified legal and social efficacy. Crimes infringing citizens' personal information are a new form of crime, and all levels of public security organs, people's procuratorates and people's courts should, from the perspective of truly protecting citizens' personal information security and maintaining social harmony and stability, reference past successful cases and comprehensively consider factors such as the number of incidents, amounts, methods used, extent of profit and harmful consequences of the illegal provision or obtaining of personal information, and increase the degree of fighting [such crimes] to ensure that positive legal and social effects are achieved. In addition to personnel at state organs or at financial, telecommunications, transportation, education and medical units, the subject of the crime of illegally selling or providing citizens' personal information includes personnel from other service industry enterprises such as those in commerce or real estate who acquire citizens' personal information in the course of performing their duties or providing services. Citizens' personal information includes citizens' names, ages, valid ID numbers, marital status, place of work, education level, work experience, home address, telephone number and other information or data from which a citizen's identity could be determined or which touches on citizens' personal privacy. Where citizens' personal information obtained during the performance of professional duties or provision of services is sold or illegally provided to others and is used by others to commit a crime, causing a victim to suffer bodily harm or death, or causing major economic losses and vile social impact; or where the amount of citizens' personal information sold or illegally provided is large, or where the unlawful gains are large; it shall be pursued for criminal liability in accordance with law as the crime of selling or illegally providing citizens' personal information. Where the amount of citizens' personal information stolen, purchased or otherwise illegally acquired is large, or where the amount of unlawful gain is large, or where other serious harm is caused, criminal liability shall be pursued as the crime of illegally acquiring citizen's personal information. Where illegally obtained personal information is used to carry out other criminal acts, and it constitutes multiple crimes, it shall be jointly punished in accordance with law. Where units commit crimes infringing citizens' personal information , criminal liability shall be sought of the directly responsible person in charge and other directly responsible persons. The extent of use of financial penalties should be increased, depriving criminals of their unlawful gains and the capital for further crimes.
Third, Increase collaboration to ensure the promptness and efficiency of law enforcement and justice. The scope of infringement of citizens ' personal information on the networks is large, complicated and convoluted. The site of the crime, the site where the consequences of the crime occurred, the location of the criminal and so on, are routinely in different locations. At the same time, because the majority of the criminal acts use the internet or mobile network equipment and are carried out through instant messaging tools, email and other means, it is extremely difficult to investigate and gather evidence. On the foundation of their division of labor and responsibilities and the effective performance of their duties, the public security organs, people's procuratorates and people's courts of all levels should further strengthen communication and cooperation, concerting efforts and collaboration and working closely together to ensure the successful carrying out of case filing, investigation , approval of arrest, review for prosecution, trial and all other steps. In cases of criminal infringement of citizens' personal information that are uncovered, public security organs should follow the principle of local jurisdiction to promptly file and investigate the case and have it transferred to be reviewed for prosecution. In cases where several public security organs have jurisdiction rights, the first public security organ to accept the case has jurisdiction. When necessary, the public security organ for the principle site of the crime may have jurisdiction. In cases where the jurisdiction is unclear or disputed, the relevant public security organs may negotiate it. If the negotiations are not successful, their common public security organ at the level above designates jurisdiction. In cases of designated jurisdiction, where it is necessary to arrest the criminal suspect, the public security organ designated as having jurisdiction applies to the people's procuratorate at the same level for review and approval ; where it is necessary to raise an indictment, the public security organ transfers to the people's procuratorate at the same level for review and decision. In cases under review for prosecution, where people's procuratorates following the provisions of the Criminal Procedure Law on jurisdiction find that the people's procuratorate at the level above or a different procuratorate at the same level shall prosecute, they shall transfer the case to the people's procuratorate with jurisdiction rights. Where people's procuratorates find that under the Criminal Procedure Law provisions it is necessary to designate jurisdiction, it shall cooperate with the people's court of the same level to handle matters related to designating jurisdiction. In the course of handling criminal cases of infringement on citizens' personal information , in difficult or complicated cases, when appropriate, the people's procuratorate may send staff to collaborate with public security organs in gathering evidence and other areas, to coordinate research and communication, In cases submitted by the public security organs for approval of arrest, or transferred for review for prosecution, where they meet the requirements for arrest or indictment , people's procuratorates should arrest or indict as quickly as possible; where supplementary investigation is necessary, a specific and detailed outline for supplementary investigation should be drafted. People's Court should increase the strength of trials , accurately determining the nature of the case, and quickly holding trial and quickly resolving trial in accordance with law.
Four, promote integrated management. Establish long-term working mechanisms for prevention and enforcement. Preventing and fighting against infringement of citizens' personal information is an enormous task, both the symptoms and their causes must be addressed, actively exploring and establishing working mechanisms for prevention and correction that will be effective in the long-term. At the same time that public security organs, people's procuratorates, and people's courts in all areas punish this sort of crime, they must actively participate in the overall management, paying attention to discovering holes and infirmities in the protection of citizens' personal information and promptly reporting them to the relevant departments, reminding and urging the relevant departments and units to strengthen management and improve systems. Newspapers, broadcasts, television, internet and other media platforms should be fully used for forcefully publicizing the Party and state's resolution and and force in fighting against this type of crime, publicizing relevant policies and laws and regulations, reminding and educating the masses to utilize legal protections and preserve their own lawful rights and interests, raising self-preservation awareness and ability.
After receiving this notice, each region is requested to quickly send it to all levels of people's court, people's procuratorate and public security organ. Please report problems encountered in implementation, to the Supreme People's Court, the Supreme People's Procuratorate, Ministry of Public Security.
Supreme People's Court
Supreme People's Procuratorate
Ministry of Public Security
April 23, 2013