Chinese City Passes Law For Childrens Privacy

Adults in Southwest China have been banned from searching children's computers or phones under a new law that has been passed in Chongqing.

Parents in one Chinese city are to be prevented from invading their children's online activity and text messages under the new law.

State media reported today that adults, including family members in Chongqing, are banned from probing through children's computers or phones under a new regional law passed.

The regulation prohibits them to go snooping into their children's emails, text messages, web chats, and browser history.

The regulation is designed to protect the rights of children, but does come as a surprise given the widespread concern in China about censorship laws with excessive internet use among young people and their access to unsuitable material.

The Chongqing Evening Post described the new regulation, adopted on Friday by officials in Chongqing, as the first of its kind in the country.

Other Chinese media said it has simply expanded an existing national rule. But both experts and children doubted whether it would have an actual impact in practice.

A professor at the China Youth University of Political Science told China Daily, that children were unlikely to take their parents to court, said Lu Yulin,

"Parents who habitually check such information won't stop due to the regulation," he said.

Eleven-year-old Song Jingbo, from Xi'an, told the newspaper he did not think his mother and father would be able to access his data anyway, adding: "I am far more internet savvy than them."

According to the China Internet Network Information Centre China has the largest population of internet users in the world and minors alone account for more than 126 million of them.

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