The digital world calls for data rights legislation
In May 2021, the Chinese and overseas versions of Data Rights Law 3.0: the Legislative Prospects, compiled by the Key Laboratory of Big Data Strategy, a high-end think tank focusing on big data development in China, were published by Social Sciences Academic Press and Hong Kong-based Peace Book Co., Ltd., respectively. They were launched online for global readers at the 2021 China International Big Data Industry Expo. The publication of the Data Rights Law Series, especially its multilingual versions, signifies the growing influence of Chinese law which is becoming an important legal instrument for participation in global governance.
The formulation of rules concerning global digital governance and digital economy is an important aspect of the go-global efforts in the field of law in the era of digital civilization. Lian Yuming, director of the Key Laboratory of Big Data Strategy and chief editor of Data Rights Law 3.0, believes that, to take a leading role in the development of the digital economy, China must provide fairer, better, more sustainable data rights protection for all stakeholders and comprehensive and accurate legislation in the digital field.
Lian Yuming pointed out that previous changes of civilizations tended to trigger revolutions in the legal world, a process now accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic and digital transformation. In the new era, we call for a new awakening, and a new civilization will be built in the digital world. It is within this context that the theoretical discoveries about the Digital Civilization Trilogy (Block Data, Data Rights Law, and Sovereignty Blockchain) are made. Data Rights Law 3.0, a continuation ofand improvement uponthe previous two editions,is based on more than 200 privacy, information or data laws or acts issued by major countries (regions) and international organizations. It traces, categorizes, compares and analyzes the overseas legal provisions on data rights, and explores issues that may shape the future of China’s data rights legislation. The focus of the research paradigm for data right law has shifted from concepts to theories and then to provisions.
Professor Lian Yuming made new conclusions on the rule of law in the digital age. First, an international data legal system has not yet taken shape. Second, generally speaking, data legislation is lagging behind technological advancement. Third, data legislation is increasingly decentralized. Fourth, the experience of data legislation in other countries and regions is worth learning. Fifth, new legal disciplines are emerging. Only with an international perspective and vision and a future-oriented mindset, can we solve the most complex problems affecting the future of the digital civilization.
Data rights lawsystematically integrates Chinese and Western ideas about the rule of law. It involves joint rulemaking to improve global governance and is an institutional innovation based on digital civilization. It aims to deal with the impact of future social relations on the existing legal systems and theories and responses to such impact and to build a global legal system that keeps pace with the times and adapts to the changes in the global governance of the Internet. Lian Yuming called for joined efforts to build legal discipline, academic and discourse systems in the digital age under the guidance of data rights law, to promote the reform of the global governance system of the Internet, and to contribute to the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.
Founded in April 2015, the Key Laboratory of Big Data Strategy is an interdisciplinary, professional, international, and open research platform jointly established by the People’s Government of Guiyang City and the Beijing Municipal Science & Technology Commission. It is a new-type high-end think tank focusing on big data development in China. In recent years, the laboratory has devoted itself to innovations in theories, institutions, rules, standards, practices and technology. It has made a series of institutional breakthroughs, including promoting standards setting on the basis of the big data terminology project, building a theoretical system featuring the Digital Civilization Trilogy (Block Data, Data Rights Law, and Sovereignty Blockchain), and fostering a global communication system with the China Data Valley at the core. It has helped China Data Valley enhance its global influence and rulemaking in the field of big data.