Archive for Privacy

中国电子商务法颁布 薛虹教授接受专访 Prof. Xue @ Media Interview on the China’s New E-Commerce Law

Chinese Electronic Commerce Law, after four official reviews at the Congress and several rounds of public consultation, was finally approved the the National People’s Congress (NPC) Standing Committee on August 31, 2018. Prof. Xue, as leading expert on the Expert Lawmaking Panel appointed by the NPC , took part all through the 5-year intensive research, investigation, drafting and annotation process . The Law that is creative, comprehensive and forward-looking in various areas will be effective as of January 1, 2019. The Law. It addresses a series of new legal issues that had never been regulated in any other laws, home and abroad.

五年磨一剑,2018年8月31日下午,十三届全国人大常委会第五次会议表决通过了《中华人民共和国电子商务法》,共七章89条,主要对电子商务经营者、电子商务合同的订立与履行、电子商务争议解决、电子商务促进和法律责任这五部分做了规定。

至此,我国电子商务的发展进入了“有法可依”的阶段。而这距离2013年底立法正式启动,已经过去了五年。五年立法的背后,反映的是各个利益方的博弈。从经营者、大平台、消费者群体,再到知识产权人、政府相关部门,每个群体都有自身的诉求,有时甚至是相互冲突的。而电子商务立法又是一个全新的领域,没有太多可借鉴的经验,导致立法时间较为漫长。与一般法律经历三审不同,电子商务法共三次公开征求意见、四次审理,而且草案由全国人大财经委员会牵头起草。这不仅是因为单一部门难以主导立法,更反映了电子商务这一新经济业态立法的复杂性。据《2017中国电子商务报告》数据显示,2017年,全国电子商务交易额达29.16万亿元,同比增长11.7%;电子商务服务业营收规模达2.92万亿元,同比增长19.3%;电子商务就业人员达4250万人,同比增长13%。电子商务快速发展,但政策法规环境不容乐观。传统监管方式难以适应新业态新模式发展,制度改革和监管难度较大;公平竞争秩序和信息安全保护亟待加强;电子商务企业之间争夺数据、客户,很可能侵害到消费者权益、破坏公平竞争市场秩序;网络安全、个人信息保护面临很大挑战。

北京市法学会电子商务法治研究会副会长、北京师范大学法学院互联网政策与法律研究中心主任、法学院教授薛虹接受《民主与法制时报》记者孙梦凡专访。薛虹教授作为电子商务立法专家组的主要成员,参与了立法的整个过程,从2013年人民大会堂立法项目启动,2014年的立法调研,到2015-2016年确立立法大纲、起草条文,2017-2018年交付审议后的修改、补充,直至最终的条文释义。寒暑易节,笔耕不辍。谈及最终版本的《电子商务法》,薛教授感慨良多。

“促进发展,规范秩序,保护权益”是《电子商务法》的宗旨。薛教授认为,“最终体现了各方利益的平衡。” 在各个利益方的博弈下,妥协是难免的。但法律最终呈现出来的效果,还是比较令人满意的

薛教授谈到,此次电子商务立法,用了一章来讲电子商务合同的订立与履行。“电子商务合同制度的确立,我觉得是很大的亮点。“薛虹说,自动信息系统在电子商务中可能是最核心的地位。怎么公平合理地设置这个系统?如何确立合同成立的时间,这些都是关键的问题。新法第四十八条规定,电子商务当事人使用自动信息系统订立或者履行合同的行为对使用该系统的当事人具有法律效力。在电子商务中推定当事人具有相应的民事行为能力。但是,有相反证据足以推翻的除外。对于当事人民事行为能力的推定,对于在网络中建立合同关系的人极为重要。在网络空间下,法律推定对面是有民事行为能力的人。因此,在虚拟环境中缔结的电子合约也便有了法律保障。第四十九条规定,电子商务经营者不得以格式条款等方式约定消费者支付价款后合同不成立;格式条款等含有该内容的,其内容无效。薛虹表示,传统合同法中,用户提交订单只是一个邀请,商家可以决定接受还是不接受。在电商网站用户协议中,普遍存在这样一种格式条款:用户只有在收到发货通知或实际已经发货的情况下,买卖合同方可成立。新法对这一条款进行了否定,“这对于消费者来说,也是一种保护。”

此外,新法第四十二条对知识产权保护规则进行了明确。针对这一条款,有质疑声认为,在实施过程中是否会被“假权利人”利用进行恶意投诉?对此,薛虹表示,首先这一条款对平台来说并不严苛,平台并不需要进行审查,不存在操作上的困难。其次如果有恶意投诉的情况,法律明确规定,恶意发出错误通知,造成平台内经营者损失的,加倍承担赔偿责任。“中国的《电子商务法》,在世界范围内都是很独特的。”薛虹提到,其他国家的电子商务立法,多是关于电子交易中电子合同怎么订立、怎么履行;关于电子签名、身份认证等等。而中国的电子商务法内容复杂,涉及平台治理、争议解决、消费者保护、电子支付、信用制度建设、知识产权制度、跨境电子商务等多种内容。

基础性、综合性立法,是这个法律最突出的特点。”薛虹说,一些法律条文的规定,为之后进一步立法奠定了基础。比如关于“电子支付”、信用体系”,未来都需要进行专门立法,当前条文便是法律未来发展的一个接口。比如在市场准入上与现行的商事法律相衔接,在数据文本上与合同法和电子签名法相衔接。在纠纷解决上,与现有的消费者权益保障法相衔接。在电商税收上与现行税收征管法和税法相衔接。在跨境电子商务上,与联合国国际贸易法委员会制定的电子商务示范法、电子合同公约等国际规范来相衔接。

新法第六章,对电子商务经营者的一系列违法行为明示了处罚标准。其中,电子商务平台经营者违反本法第三十八条规定,对平台内经营者侵害消费者合法权益行为未采取必要措施,或者对平台内经营者未尽到资质资格审核义务,或者对消费者未尽到安全保障义务的,由市场监督管理部门责令限期改正,可以处五万元以上五十万元以下的罚款;情节严重的,责令停业整顿,并处五十万元以上二百万元以下的罚款。上限二百万的罚款,能否真正让经营者承担起法律责任?如何真正切实有效地加强平台的治理?

“只通过政府罚款是非常有限的。”薛虹认为,最主要的应该是加强平台的治理,社会治理这部分还有很大的空间和余地,应该建立一些社会监督的机制。出事之前,就要有一定的预警机制,从而使整个系统更加健康。薛虹认为,横向来说,可以通过行业协会来制定一系列规则。此外,每一个群体都要有监督的权利和渠道,比如经营者,比如消费者。当自身权益受到侵害时,每个人都要有合理畅通的发声渠道,来对平台进行监督。新法第五十九条规定,电子商务经营者应当建立便捷、有效的投诉、举报机制,公开投诉、举报方式等信息,及时受理并处理投诉、举报。对于这些原则性的规定,如何落地实施,并形成切实有效的社会机制,还有待进一步探索。

电子商务法在立法之初,就存是否会“一出台就过时”的争议。面对当前新法,薛虹认为,至少在五年之内不用担心其过时。近几年电子商务还不会有颠覆性的发展,从而导致法律适应不了。“但是当前法律确实面临一些潜在的挑战。”薛虹认为,一个是人工智能,一个是区块链。这两个技术如果真的在交易环节普遍使用,那对整个法律规范体系都会有很大的影响。

此外,消费者个人信息保护是重中之重。在薛虹看来,消费者已经难有隐私可言,个人信息保护刻不容缓。当下只能等待对个人信息保护专门立法,来改变这一现状。“法律的出台不是有单纯的条文就可以,关键是要有一套执法的人员和机构。”薛虹说,未来针对消费者个人信息保护,需要设立专门的机构负责这件事。通过具体的执法行为、执法手段去保障法律的实施。

《电子商务法》中关于电商平台责任的内容,从一审到四审一直是争议的焦点。新法第三十八条规定:电子商务平台经营者知道或者应当知道平台内经营者销售的商品或者提供的服务不符合保障人身、财产安全的要求,或者有其他侵害消费者合法权益行为,未采取必要措施的,依法与该平台内经营者承担连带责任。对关系消费者生命健康的商品或者服务,电子商务平台经营者对平台内经营者的资质资格未尽到审核义务,或者对消费者未尽到安全保障义务,造成消费者损害的,依法承担相应的责任。该条款规定了平台责任的一个方面,其中“相应的责任”的确立几经变迁。三审稿中平台未尽到审核义务与安全保障义务的,要“依法与该平台内经营者承担连带责任”。而在四审稿中,平台承担的连带责任又变为”补充责任“。

据全国人大宪法和法律委员会相关负责人介绍,一些社会公众、电商平台企业提出,三审稿的第二个连带责任,给平台经营者施加的责任过重,建议将“承担连带责任”改为“承担相应的补充责任”,与侵权责任法的有关规定相一致。消息一出,引起争议,条款被质疑是否有”减轻平台责任“之嫌。中国消费者协会表示,这一改动十分关键,一旦通过将很大程度上减轻电商平台因对消费者未尽到安全保障义务,造成消费者损害后所应承担的责任。几经争议,最终立法中,“相应的责任”这一说法被确立。

在薛虹看来, “在任何的法律、行政法规中规定有连带责任的,那就是适用连带责任;如果没有专门特别的规定,那就是用补充责任。” 相对于补充责任来说,当前规定使平台承担了更多的责任。“相应的责任”也就意味着,在食品、药品等重点领域,如果相应领域的法律条文以连带责任对平台进行要求,那么就适用连带责任。而非以补充责任涵盖所有的领域。

薛虹认为,加强平台责任是符合电子商务生态的。互联网环境下,消费者处于弱势地位。在虚拟远程交易中,消费者无法通过现场物理条件来鉴别产品,只能依靠平台的监管。那么平台就应当对整个生态的信用问题承担更多的责任。“但在落实的时候,最高法院可以就’相应的责任’进行司法解释,使其更为明确一些。”

总之,历经四审、耗时五年,这部法律最终出台。电子商务法影响电商发展格局、维护消费者权益的作用,将接受时间的检验。

电子商务法专家起草组核心成员2018年9月3日纪念合影

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International Expert Lecture on Artificial Intelligence and the Right to be Forgotten 国际专家讲座系列 人工智能与被遗忘权

北京师范大学互联网政策与法律研究中心

联合国国际贸易法委员会亚太中心与北京师范大学国际电子商务法联合认证项目

2018 Autumn Inaugurating International Expert Public Lecture 

Artificial Intelligence and the Right to be Forgotten

 

There is no better chance to celebrate the enactment of the China’s E-Commerce Law on August 31, 2018 with a Public Lecture dedicating to innovative legal issues, i.e. AI and Erasure Right. In the first part, Dr. Liu offers a brief introduction to artificial intelligence, followed by a discussion on potential legal and policy issues associated with artificial intelligence. Artificial intelligence that is poised to become the fourth industrial revolution, fundamentally changing the way we live, work, and learn. In the second part, Associate Professor Gehan Gunasekara examines the right to erasure (the so-called “right to be forgotten”) as it has taken shape in New Zealand both through common law and statutory developments. Focusing in particular on the Privacy Act 1993 he examines the connection between the need for erasure and related data privacy concerns, including the limits of correction, data quality and data retention limits. He argues that this bundle of rights is founded on respect for context and ought to be viewed as a societal right and not only an individual one. Finally, the presentation explores the special challenges arising from the digital sphere especially when information is linked or indexed online and hint at possible solutions. The BNU students, Chinese and international, enjoyed the lectures and interacted with the two experts actively.

Date: 4 September 2018, 18:00-19:40

Venue: BNU Law School Auditorium 1922

Organizers:

Beijing Normal University Institute for Internet Policy & Law; and,

UNCITRAL & BNU Joint Certificate Program on International E-Commerce Law

Moderator & Discussant:

Prof. Dr. Hong Xue, Director of Beijing Normal University Institute for Internet Policy & Law

Lecturers:

Dr. Benjamin Liu, Senior Lecturer, Department of Commercial Law, Business School, University of Auckland

Prof. Gehan Gunasekara, Associate Professor, Department of Commercial Law, Business School, University of Auckland

北京师范大学互联网政策与法律研究中心

联合国国际贸易法委员会亚太中心与北京师范大学国际电子商务法联合认证项目

 

国际专家讲座系列

 

2018年9月4日,北京师范大学互联网与法律研究中心、联合国国际贸易法委员会亚太中心与北京师范大学国际电子商务法联合认证项目主办的国际专家讲座在后主楼1922法学院学术报告厅成功举办。

讲座主题为“人工智能与被遗忘权”(Artificial Intelligence and the Right to be Forgotten),讲座专家为奥克兰大学商学院商法系高级讲师Benjamin Liu博士和奥克兰大学商学院商法系Gehan Gunasekara副教授。北京师范大学互联网政策与法律研究中心主任、联合国国际贸易法委员会亚太中心与北京师范大学国际电子商务法联合认证项目中方主任薛虹教授担任主持人与评议人。北师大法学院的十多位中外研究生以及留学生与访问、交换生参加了讲座,并与讲座专家进行了现场交流。

在第一部分中,Benjamin Liu博士简要介绍了人工智能,然后讨论了与人工智能相关的潜在法律和政策问题。人工智能有望成为第四次工业革命,从根本上改变我们的生活、工作和学习方式。在第二部分中,Gehan Gunasekara副教授将通过普通法和法定发展审查新西兰已经形成的擦除权(所谓的“被遗忘权”)。Gehan Gunasekara副教授特别关注1993年的隐私法案,研究擦除需求与相关数据隐私问题之间的关系,包括纠正限制,数据质量和数据保留限制。他讲到,建立在尊重背景的基础上的这一系列权利,应该被视为一种社会权利,而不仅仅是个人权利。此外,Gehan Gunasekara副教授探讨数字领域带来的特殊挑战,尤其是在线上链接或索引信息并提出了相应的解决方案。

最后,十多位中外研究生以及留学生与访问、交换生提出了富有价值的问题,并与Benjamin Liu博士、Gehan Gunasekara副教授进行了热烈的讨论。

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Professor Xue Addressed at 39th ICDPPC

 Organizer’s Thank-You Letter to Professor Hong Xue

39th International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners (“ICDPPC”) was held on 25-29 September 2017 at Kowloon Shangri-La Hotel, Hong Kong.  This Conference was hosted by the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, as one of the events celebrating the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China. The ICDPPC was first convened in 1979 and has been the annual premier global frum for data protection authorities for over three decades. The Conference seeks to provide leadership at international level in data protection and privacy and links more than a hundred privacy and data protection authorities from across the globe. The 39th ICDPPC comprised a comprehensive 4-day programme consisting of a closed session for the accredited members of ICDPPC and an open session attended by all in the data protection community including data controllers, privacy related enterprises, business entities, professionals and academia. More than 750 delegates from over 60 countries or regions attended the event where renowned practitioners and entrepreneurs from around the world joined as speakers and panelists to share their wisdom. The 39th ICDPPC was hailed as the prime arena and excellent platform for all international and local stakeholders to pick one and another’s expertise and map out the future privacy landscape.

Prof. Xue was invited to give the keynote speeches both at the Open Forum “Notice and Consent-From India to Japan” and the workshop “Privacy and Encryption in Digital Age”. Prof. Xue summarized the latest legal and practical developments in Asia Pacific Region and made indepth analysis on the relevant topics.

The thank-you-letter from Mr Stephen Wong, Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data, HKSAR is attached.

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Prof. Xue taught at APRU Summer Seminar 2016 on Digital Economy

The Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU) Summer Seminar 2016 on Digital Economy was held in the last week of August 2016 in Tokyo. Prof. Xue, as a Member of Academic Advisory Council of The Asia Pacific Institute for the Digital Economy (APIDE) joined the seminar and taught at several sessions to the governmental officers from the APEC economies. Prof. Xue gave an orientation on digital economy and policy shifting in the world and presented on copyright and innovation industry in the digital economy.

APRU provides a framework for a range of cooperative activities among universities in the region, with current joint projects on climate change, the aging society, disaster preparedness, and global health. Reflecting the growing importance of the Internet, the 2014 APRU Annual Presidents’ Meeting agreed to work on a joint Initiative on “Governing the DIgital Economy.” The goal is to bring the academic community in the region into stronger contact with other members of the multistakeholder community concerned with the future development of the Internet.

Under the framework of the APRU Internet Governance Initiative, Keio University has hosted an annual APRU Digital Economy Business Offsite engaging the business community in the region and an APRU Digital Economy Summer Seminar working with regulators to build capacity in the Internet policy space. APIDE, established in 2012, is a research institute that can work with the academic community to clarify policy options and help build consensus around a set of pragmatic actions based on solid research and analysis throughout the Asia Pacific.

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Prof. Xue on APEC E-Commerce Business Alliance Expert Council

The 6th APEC E-Commerce Business Alliance Forum was held on June 28-30, 2016, in Jinjiang, China. Prof. Xue, who was appointed on the Expert Council of the APEC E-Commerce Business Alliance, presented at the Forum on the International and Global e-Businesses and joined the Expert Council meeting. She was one of the primary drafters of the Jinjiang Proposal, a statement officially released at the Forum and later presented at APEC meetings.

In line with the theme “Promoting inclusive trade through cross-border E-Commerce “, the Forum explored the new development of cross-border E-Commerce for SMEs to participate in international trade in terms of opportunities, challenges and the future deeply and comprehensively, and how to ensure data privacy security issues in the era of big data, and discussed the impacts of developing cross-border E-Commerce on benefiting SMEs,  driving a new round of global economic development and deepening the Asia-Pacific regional economic cooperation, so as to promoting stability, development and prosperity in Asia-Pacific region.

The Jinjiang Proposal made the following suggestions to global community:

For this purpose, our suggestions are as follows;

  1. To fully implement policy and business research advantages of the Alliance within its own field, actively explore practical ways and future prospect for small, medium and micro enterprises to participate in international trade and integrate into international value chain including obstacles which existing international trading system have on small, medium and micro enterprises integrate into international value chain, cross-border E-Commerce platform and environment, conditions and methods for small, medium and micro enterprises to develop cross-border e-commerce, to actively explore small, medium and micro enterprises innovation and entrepreneurship under the condition of Internet; to investigate innovation needs of each member country regulation mode regarding cross-border E-Commerce including the effective regulatory methods which the government and regulatory body have on flows of digital data and technologies, the protection which innovative systems and rules have on small ,medium and micro enterprises and the interests of consumers etc. These methods will promote and encourage small, medium and micro enterprises to participant in international trade through E-Commerce effectively.
  2. To actively promote each member’s government and industry organizations, try to form the rules for cross-border E-Commerce platform, establish cross-border E-Commerce credit verification system and markets for small, medium and micro enterprises in APEC region, to encourage cooperation and collaboration modes such as the Government and Enterprises ( PPP), platform and platform , reform international logistics practice, establish new international payment systems and credit rules in order for small, medium and micro enterprises to carry out cross-border E-Commerce.
  3. It recommends that all APEC governments and regulatory bodies allow for the development of industry standards for information technology and e-commerce that can be applied and observed equally by all SMEs throughout the APEC region.  This will require that all relevant industry participants, especially SMEs, be allowed to participate in the process of developing these standards.  The process could be organized and sponsored by the government agencies, but industry participants (including SMEs) should be allowed significant opportunity to present decisive input, and the process must be fair and transparent. The resulting industry standards must be acceptable and readily practicable throughout the APEC region not only applicable to certain entity. The result should be a network of e-commerce infrastructure that SMEs from any nation in APEC can access to participate and compete effectively in international trade throughout the region.
  4. To be active and efforts can be made into the following aspects;

a)       To set up designative contacts system and information-sharing network within the APEC region, publish each economy entity’s updates , relevant policy, cooperation projects in the field of E-Commerce, and promote information exchange within all members, share E-Commerce development results and achievements;

b)      To summarize the APEC region cross-border E-Commerce best practices and serve in exchanging visits between enterprises, business cooperation, technical support, investment and promote the development and progress for commercial and industry enterprises in the APEC region;

c)       To emphasize and strengthen capacity-building in the field of E-Commerce and encourage capacity-building training activities, shorten the difference among the economies, and promote APEC economies complementary advantages for each other.

5. We are committed to continue to strengthen coordination and cooperation with other relevant international, regional cooperation organizations and forums, so that APEC E-Commerce Business Alliance would play a more important role in regional and global economic governance system.

 

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