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Cross-Border Data Transfer – New Draft Measures Offer Clarification on Security Review| Dezan Shira & Associates

posted 3 years ago

On October 29, 2021, the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) released a draft version of the Measures for Data Export Security Assessment (the ‘assessment measures’) to solicit opinions from the public until November 28, 2021. The draft measures offer clarity on the governmental body responsible for overseeing security assessments and what procedures companies must undergo to get clearance to transfer data overseas.

Many companies have been anxiously awaiting clarification on security assessment ever since China first put limits on the export of certain types of data in the Cybersecurity Law (CSL), released in 2017. The draft document offers a clear pathway for companies who need to send data overseas for their operations and clarifies which aspects of a company’s business the authorities will consider when evaluating a cross-border data transfer. 

The new assessment measures are based on China’s three overarching data security laws, the CSL, Data Security Law (DSL), and the Personal Information Protection Law (PIPL), the latter of which came into effect as recently as November 1, 2021. According to the document, the assessment measures will aim to “standardize the export of data from China” and “protect personal information, safeguard national security, and public interest”. 

If a company meets any of the criteria outlined here for transferring data outside of China, it must apply for a security assessment by CAC. The assessment measures provide a detailed description of the procedures and criteria companies must meet to pass a security assessment. 

Despite a lack of clarity for certain sectors, the new assessment measures are nonetheless an important step in building a robust regulatory environment for the export of data from China. When finalized and brought into effect, they will finally offer companies with overseas operations a means of seeking approval to transfer data overseas.

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