Dec 03, 2020 05:39 PM

Tianjin Bans Private Companies From Collecting Biometric Data

What’s new: The northern Chinese city of Tianjin has passed new rules (link in Chinese) banning non-public entities including credit service providers and industry associations from collecting biometric data.

The municipal legislature said in a notice on its website that new social credit regulations due to take effect on Jan. 1 will also prohibit the entities from collecting data about an individual’s religious beliefs, blood type and medical history.

The background: Chinese government officials are currently mulling a draft data protection law that would slap huge fines on those who misuse personal information.

The discussions come amid widespread public concern in the Asian nation about the spread of intrusive technologies like biometrics and facial recognition.

Other places in China are also mulling curbs on such technologies. In October, officials in the eastern city of Hangzhou, the home of internet giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., said they would consider a revised draft of property management regulations that would make it illegal to demand residents undergo face and fingerprint scans when entering their compounds.

Contact reporter Matthew Walsh ( and editor Marcus Ryder (

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