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China Starts Crackdown on Apps’ Violations of User Privacy

By Liu Shuangshuang and Denise Jia / Nov 05, 2019 04:31 AM / Business & Tech

Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

The Chinese government is launching a crackdown on violations of user privacy by apps, targeting problems of illegal collection of personal information and frequent harassment of users.

The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) hosted a meeting Monday launching the campaign, which will last until Dec. 20.

One of the key issues is sharing personal information with third parties without consent and collecting personal data beyond consented scope, said Ning Hua, director of the information security department of the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology.

For example, the academy has found that a food delivery app continues to read users’ locations even after users close the app.

Another common issue is unreasonable requests for user authorization. Some apps request authorization from users to gain access to their information including phone number, contact list, location, camera and calendar, but continue to ask for such authorization even after users refuse to do so, Ning said.

Apps found with these issues will be ordered to correct them or be forced to remove from the market and will be added to a list of telecom businesses with poor operations or bad credibility, said Wang Zhen, director of the Information Communication Administration Bureau under the MIIT.

Contact reporter Denise Jia (huijuanjia@caixin.com)

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