China Directs 33 Apps To Stop Collecting Users’ Data
China has listed 33 apps, including Baidu and Tencent, collecting more user data than it deemed necessary to offer their service. The listed apps have been directed to plug the loopholes in less than 15 days, as reported by Zdnet.
The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) said in a brief statement Saturday that these apps had breached local regulations, primarily, for capturing personal data that were not relevant to their service. Citing complaints from the public, the government agency said operators of the apps were found to have infringed the rules after authorities assessed several popular apps, including map navigation apps.
These apps also gathered personal information without consent from their users, according to CAC.
Amongst the list of 33 were apps from Sogou, Baidu, Tencent, QQ, and Zhejiang Jianxin Technology. These operators now had 10 working days to rectify the issue, failing which, they would be subject to penalties laid out by the regulations, CAC said.
The Chinese government has ramped up efforts to crack down on the increasing influence of tech companies and safeguard consumers’ rights.
Chinese regulators last month slapped a record fine of 18.2 billion yuan ($2.8 billion) on e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding.
According to South China Morning Post (owned by Alibaba), the fine on Ma’s company by the State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) was more than double the previous record of 6.1 billion yuan paid by chip-maker Qualcomm.
The fine was imposed on Alibaba for violating anti-monopoly rules as the country seeks to rein in the power of internet conglomerates.
In November last year, China proposed sweeping antitrust regulations targeting its tech industry.