Sun, Oct 13, 2019 - Page 1 News List

Watchdog warns over data privacy

POLITICAL:Taiwanese firms could be forced to accept the ‘1992 consensus’ should Beijing launch its social credit system, the Taiwan Democracy Watch chairman said

By Chung Li-hua and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

The title and logo of the Mainland Affairs Council are displayed on a wall at its Taipei headquarters in an undated photograph.

Photo: Chung Li-hua, Taipei Times

Taiwan Democracy Watch yesterday voiced concern over the inking of a collaborative agreement between Pin Shang Credit Investigation Co (品尚徵信), based in China’s Fujian Province, and Taiwan’s China Credit Information Service Ltd (CCIS, 中華徵信所), saying that information held by the Taiwanese firm could be used by the Chinese credit investigation industry.

The two companies signed the agreement last month, according to a news release that month by China’s Taiwan Affairs Office.

The agreement allows credit investigation firms across the Taiwan Strait to use “big data” for applied research, development and merging of the cross-strait economy, the report said.

With support from CCIS, the People’s Bank of China’s Fujian branch has already conducted 310 investigations of Taiwanese corporations or individuals, it said.

Cross-strait collaboration on financial investigations is not legal, the Mainland Affairs Council said yesterday, citing a lack of comprehensive Chinese legislation about the industry and the desire to protect Taiwanese from having their financial information being used for other purposes.

The council said that according to its understanding, CCIS was only providing public information of domestic companies, such as corporate finances as listed by the Ministry of Finance’s Financial Data Center, or registration data.

Data on Taiwan’s Join Credit Information Center has been kept off-limits, the council said.

Collaboration between cross-strait financial investigation firms goes back at least two decades, serving as the basis for credit and insurance policies in China for Taiwanese businesspeople, CCIS vice chief executive officer Yu Chien-chug (余建中) said.

The EU Chamber of Commerce in China in a report in August said that Beijing has amassed a significant amount of data in preparation for the launch of its Social Credit for Corporations project next year.

Corporations would be assigned an economic and political rating, and corporate actions could be considered “harming national interest” under the system, the report said.

Should the system be established, Taiwanese businesses could be forced to support the so-called “1992 consensus,” Taiwan Democracy Watch chairman Sung Cheng-en (宋承恩) said.

The “1992 consensus,” a term former Mainland Affairs Council chairman Su Chi (蘇起) in 2006 admitted to making up in 2000, refers to a tacit understanding between the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the Chinese Communist Party that there is “one China,” with each side having its own interpretation of what “China” means.

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