Should companies use contractual necessity under China's PIPL?

18/08/2023 | IAPP

Many questions remain about the implementation of key provisions in  China's Personal Information Protection Law (PIPL). In an article for the IAPP, Bird & Bird Associate Hunter Dorwart, Partner James Gong, and Associate Harry Qu discuss one of those provisions, Article 13, which requires organisations to have a lawful reason for collecting and processing personal data, similar to the EU General Data Protection Regulation. Article 13 includes several legal bases, such as obtaining consent, compliance with legal obligations, protecting an individual's vital interest, and fulfilling a task in the public interest. The concept of processing necessary data to fulfil a contract is also included under Article 13(2). While this provision is similar to other global data protection laws, it remains unclear how authorities like the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) interpret it in practice. Companies are advised to consider this before selecting this option as their legal basis.

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