How to protect private life with frequent spam messages and harassing calls

  Author: reporter Jin Hao Bright Web Reporter Sun Man-tao

, "Guangming Daily" (March 2, 2021 15 edition)

[Q&A Civil Code · Statement by Case]


  Right to privacy; tranquility in private life


  As of December 2020, the number of mobile Internet users in my country has reached 986 million.

In the era of mobile Internet, personal information and user data have become important business resources.

Some companies and individuals seek economic benefits, resulting in frequent spam messages and harassing calls, making people uncomfortable.

Protecting the tranquility of private life has become an urgent social problem that needs to be resolved.


  Mr. Luo from Ningbo is the head of an offline preschool training organization.

On January 15, three short messages popped up on Mr. Luo’s mobile phone at the same time, two of which said that "51talk account and password have been assigned to you, and you can modify the password on the official website." For 1 foreign teacher, log in to the official website or App to book a lesson experience".

  But what puzzles Mr. Luo is that he has never registered an account with 51talk, an online English education brand.

Suspecting that the merchant had collected his mobile phone number and configured related services without authorization, Mr. Luo sued a Beijing technology company to which 51talk belonged to the court, claiming that 51talk's approach seriously violated his personal information rights and private life.


  Natural persons have the right to privacy.

No organization or individual may infringe the privacy rights of others by spying, harassing, divulging, disclosing, etc.

  Privacy is the tranquility of the private life of a natural person and the private space, private activities, and private information that are unwilling to be known to others.

(Article 1032)


Yu Xun (Associate Professor of East China University of Political Science and Law)

The essence of information leakage is an infringement of privacy

  Luo in this case has never logged into the 51talk website, downloaded the 51talk mobile client, or even plans to learn English. However, his mobile phone received a harassing text message registered by the platform, which was obviously for the merchant to collect his mobile phone number without authorization. The configuration of related services violated Luo's personal information rights and the tranquility of his private life.

  Luo in this case, after realizing that his private life was violated, immediately appealed to the law, and his awareness of rights protection is worthy of recognition.

According to a survey, 71% of respondents chose to cut off the phone or ignore it when they received harassing and fraudulent calls or text messages after the information was leaked, 63% chose to reject or block the call, and only about 20%. The respondent chose to report, complain, report to the police and other active response measures.

  Leaking personal information and being harassed by spam messages is essentially an infringement of citizens' privacy.

The object of the right of privacy is privacy, and the so-called privacy, one is privacy, and the other is privacy.

The former means that it is purely personal and has nothing to do with public interests and group interests; the latter means that the right holder has the right to keep it in a private state, while others cannot know it.

  my country's Tort Liability Law stipulates that natural persons enjoy the right to privacy for the first time, but the scope of privacy is not clearly defined.

On this basis, the Infringement Liability of the Civil Code specifies the scope of privacy and improves the legal protection mechanism of privacy: it clearly stipulates that privacy is the private life of natural persons and the private space, private activities, and activities that are unwilling to be known to others. Private information; private life is protected as the main part of privacy and put at the forefront of private content, and it is clear that mobile phones, text messages, instant messaging tools, e-mails, etc. should belong to the private space of natural persons according to law, and shall not be allowed without their consent By making harassing calls, sending spam text messages or messages, sending spam emails, etc., they violated their peace of life.

This is the response of the Civil Code from the height of the code to the chronic diseases that have plagued the public for a long time, which shows the importance of the protection of private life.

  In judicial practice, when personal information rights are infringed, there are two main ways of remedy: if there is no need to request damages, you can exercise the right to claim the right of personality in accordance with the provisions of the Personality Rights of the Civil Code, claim to stop the infringement, remove the obstruction, and eliminate the impact , Restore reputation; if you need to claim damages, you can exercise the right to claim infringement in accordance with the provisions of the Tort Liability of the Civil Code, and claim that the infringer bears the liability for damages to protect your own legal rights.

  Of course, lawlessness is not enough.

Behind the harassing phone calls and spam messages is a huge gray industrial chain, which is related to the vital interests of many business entities.

To restore the public's "private life peace", we must start from the source and strangle the "throat" of information leakage.

For now, express delivery orders and mobile phone software are the main channels for leaking personal information.

Therefore, in protecting the security of personal information, both online platforms and enterprises play an important role: to collect information necessary for business reasonably and legally, instead of collecting other information beyond authority and beyond the boundary; improve the safety factor of the platform, and strengthen its information protection capabilities , To prevent information from being leaked or even maliciously stolen.

In addition, in response to various infringements, users should be provided with convenient and effective complaints and rights protection channels such as "one-click complaints" to facilitate timely accountability for infringements.

Only by taking a multi-pronged approach to solve the public's helpless pain points about information leakage can the public's private life be restored to peace and tranquility in the Internet age.

(Reporter Jin Hao of our newspaper, and reporter Sun Mantao interviewed and compiled)