China: China has released new regulations on maps which will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2016. The regulations are aimed to boost the development of the geographic information industry and contain a new chapter on online map services. Moreover, there are new rules on compiling, checking and publishing maps. The new policy replaces the 1995 regulations on map drawing and publication. Here are the highlights:
Internet map services: Rules concerning market entry, data security management, user information protection, supervision and registration of internet map services have been specified in the new chapter.
Data security: The providers must possess proper qualifications, must house servers storing geographic data within Chinese territory and must develop measures to ensure data security.
Privacy: Providers are required to ask for users' permission before collecting and using personal information, and are banned from leaking, tampering, selling or illegally providing information to others.
Online map service: The regulations also state online map service providers must thoroughly examine updated information of maps before informing mapping authorities and filing the information.
Map-related products: The document encourages creation of map-related products that conform to related regulations and promotes innovation in geographic information science and technology.
Inspection: The document includes rules on free inspection of maps, an effort to avoid errors and leaks of information that threaten national sovereignty, security and interests.
Violation and punishment: According to the new rules, people in charge of government departments with serious violations of the rules shall receive disciplinary punishment. Business violators will face administrative penalties, including fines, mapping certificate revocation and business suspension.