China says 33 apps gathered users' info irrelevant to services, regulation takes actions to protect personal data

minutes 2021/05/04 02:38:43

May 04, 2021 (China Knowledge) - China’s Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) said on Saturday that 33 mobile applications have violated regulations, with most of them collecting personal information irrelevant to their services.

Among the list were navigation apps operated by China's big tech companies including Baidu (9888:HK) and Tencent (700:HK), and keyboard apps by Sogou (SOGO), iFLYTEK (002230) and Baidu.

CAC said in a statement that the app operators were asked to rectify the issues within 10 working days, or they would be subject to penalties.

The regulator said it had carried out checks on the apps in response to complaints from netizens about excessive and sometimes illegal collection of personal information from the apps.

After checks, the regulator found some of the apps collected personal data without users' consent and the operators also tried to convince customers to allow access to cellphone contact lists, according to the statement.

Meanwhile, a regulation went into effect to supervise the operations of commonly used apps that collect users' personal information. The regulation was jointly initiated in March by the CAC, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the Ministry of Public Security, and the State Administration for Market Regulation.

It also specified that apps should not refuse to provide basic services to users who do not agree to submit unnecessary personal information.

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