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China cautious about personal information collecting by credit bureaus

BEIJING, Oct. 12 (Xinhua) -- A draft regulation, issued to solicit public opinions on Monday, bans credit bureaus in China from collecting personal information such as appearance, genetic data, finger prints, blood type and disease history.

The draft regulation on credit reference was revealed by the State Council Legislative Affairs Office at its official website here.

Credit bureaus are also forbidden to collect information about a person's ethnic identity, family, religious belief and political affiliation, according to the draft.

They can collect financial data such as a person's income, deposit, property and taxation only if the person approves it in a written document and is well informed about the possible effects, the draft rules said.

They also need the person's approval to provide his or her information to their clients.

Credit bureaus can collect financial data about corporations and organizations but need their approval to provide the data to their clients.

However, the Credit Reference Center run by the People's Bank of China, the central bank, is exempt of the restrictions.

The center, a non-profitable organization founded in 2003, is in charge of developing and operating a nationwide credit data base.

Banks are required to report credit data of their clients to the center, according to the draft.

The center can also collect information about individuals, corporations and organizations from companies and organizations.

The government, law enforcement departments and other legal administrative organizations can use the credit data at the center in line with laws, according to the draft rules.

Under the draft rules, a credit bureau can do three sorts of business in China, providing credit reports, credit scoring and credit rating.

To set up a credit bureau, a minimum of 5 million yuan (733,000U.S. dollars) will be needed as the registered capital. But for a credit bureau that provides credit reports of individuals or companies, the amount will increase to 50 million yuan (7.33 million dollars).

Banks are banned from providing information for credit bureaus without a qualification granted by the credit reference regulator, the People's Bank of China.

The rules aim to regulate the credit reference business in China, said a statement from the office.

The public can log on to the website or write to the office to submit their opinions.

Created on 2009-10-12 17:44:49 by HKCCMA.

Last Edited on 2011-03-25 07:44:49 by HKCCMA.