Pang Lipeng v. China Eastern Airlines Co., Ltd. and Beijing Qunar Information Technology Co., Ltd. Case of Dispute over Right of Privacy
In the Internet era, various types of data and information are transmitted at a high speed and in a huge amount of volume, and are highly shared. Not only does it bring convenience to people, it also brings unprecedented challenges to personal information security. This case set up the rule that personal information security may be protected through the right of privacy, specifies that the standard of proof used for the determination of personal information leakage should be the high probability for civil evidence, and was of great significance to the scrutiny of the platform behaviors and the maintenance of personal information security.
Pang Lipeng entrusted his assistant Lu Chao to book an air ticket of China Eastern Airlines Co., Ltd. ("China Eastern Airlines") on the website (www.qunar.com) run by Beijing Qunar Information Technology Co., Ltd. ("Qunar"), and then received a fraud SMS, showing Pang Lipeng’s flight departure time, landing time, the name of the airport, and the flight number.
Pang Lipeng believed that his mobile phone number and the exact flight information were only known to Qunar and China Eastern Airlines. He concluded that the two companies leaked his personal information and filed a lawsuit with a court to request a compensation of RMB 1,000 yuan as the mental damage solatium.
The court concluded that, the plaintiff Pang Lipeng's non-private information and his private information has been combined together and constituted an inseparable right as a whole. It should be protected in accordance with the protection rules for privacy. The defendants China Eastern Airlines and Qunar obtained the plaintiff Pang Lipeng’s ID number, mobile phone number and voyage information, and the related information was leaked within a reasonable time. According to the standard of proof of high probability, it was enough to conclude that the information leakage was caused by the defendant. Therefore, both defendant shall be responsible for the infringement of the plaintiff’s right of privacy. On January 20, 2016, Beijing Haidian Primary People's Court made the first-instance judgment and denied all of Pang Lipeng's claims. On March 27, 2017, Beijing No. 1 Intermediate People’s Court made the final civil judgment in which the court revoked the first instance judgment; Qunar shall apologize to Pang Lipeng; China Eastern Airlines shall apologize to Pang Lipeng; and Pang Lipeng's other requests for relief shall be rejected.