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World News | China’s restrictions on academic data flow spark concern among researchers worldwide


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Beijing [China]May 29 (ANI): Recent restrictions on the flow of academic and health data from China have raised concerns among researchers around the world, reports the journal Nature.

According to the researchers, the new rules and the uncertainty surrounding them have hindered international collaboration with Chinese scientists.

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Others, concerned that access to information might be hindered, chose not to work on projects involving China or its citizens, according to the journal Nature.

According to the article, China is also considering limiting the amount of human genetic data that can be sent to other countries. Joy Zhang, a sociologist at the University of Kent in the United Kingdom, said China does not want its scientists to collaborate freely with people in other countries as they have done in the past.

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“The signal is very clear that China does not want its scientists to collaborate freely with foreigners as they have done in the past,” Joy Zhang said, according to Nature.

The Personal Information Protection Law (PIPL) came into force in China in November 2021. The law aims to stop companies and others that collect personal data from misusing customers’ personal information.

The set of regulations, which will be introduced gradually from 2021, includes cybersecurity assessments of personal information and genetic data sent overseas, as well as restrictions on the export of biotechnology knowledge such as CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing technology, synthetic biology and crop breeding. China is also considering limiting the amount of human genetic data that can be sent to other countries, the article said.

Joy Zhang called privacy protection a “necessary development” in China, noting that many hospitals in the country lack cybersecurity infrastructure to protect patient data from privacy violations.

In another measure to be implemented in China in 2022, companies and institutions that send personal data, such as customer details or clinical trial participant information, to people outside China will have to undergo data export security assessments, according to Nature.

The assessment conducted by the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) is aimed at protecting personal data and sensitive information related to national security. Chinese companies and universities planning to export data will need to apply for certification or enter into a contract with the receiving organization to guarantee that the data will be stored securely and processed only in accordance with the contract.

Joy Zhang called the rules problematic for international researchers whose work relies on access to data or collaborators in China. According to the article, organizations in China have six months to comply with export requirements.

One of the resources affected by the new rules is China’s largest academic database, the China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI).

According to Nature, CNKI documents include millions of Chinese-language journal articles, master’s and doctoral theses, conference proceedings, newspapers, government statistics, and patents.

In April, China’s National Knowledge Infrastructure suspended foreign access to parts of its databases, including annual statistics collected by provincial governments, national census data, conference proceedings and papers. CNKI said the suspension decision was made in accordance with new data export rules. (Arnie)

(This is an unedited and auto-generated story from a Syndicated News feed, the content body may not have been modified or edited by LatestLY staff)


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