Caixin
Aug 23, 2021 09:09 PM
TECH

Taobao Boosts Encryption to Protect User Data

What’s new: Taobao said that it has improved its encryption technology and will do more to protect users’ sensitive information, as Beijing has toughened up rules on data collection, processing and protection.

The technology will be mainly applied to order processing, logistics and customer management, the Alibaba-owned e-commerce platform said on Friday.

Specifically, customers’ sensitive information — including their names, phone numbers and addresses — will be encrypted during order processing and logistics, with merchants no longer being allowed to store buyers’ information in plain text.

In addition, merchants will not be able to see this kind of personal information in their customer management systems, a move that Taobao said will not affect sellers’ operational analysis.

The background: Taobao’s move comes as the Chinese government has tightened data management regulations, which could have a substantial impact on the way the country’s technology and internet giants operate.

On Friday, China’s legislature passed the Personal Information Protection Law, which stipulates that data processors must gain consent from individuals before processing their sensitive information, according to Xinhua News Agency. The law is set to take effect on Nov. 1.

Quick Takes are condensed versions of China-related stories for fast news you can use.

Contact reporter Ding Yi (yiding@caixin.com) and editor Joshua Dummer (joshuadummer@caixin.com)

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