China to ban apps from collecting excessive user data starting May

Starting May 1, apps in China can no longer force customers into providing excess personal data, according to a document collectively released by a group of the country’s top regulators, the Cyberspace Administration, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the Ministry of Public safety and the State Administration for Market Regulation.

It’s a common practice in China where apps ask consumers to provide sensitive personal information and those who decline to share are often denied access. While some of the requests are justifiable, such as one’s locale information to use a piloting planned, many others are unnecessary, such as one’s biometrics to draw mobile payments.

In December, Chinese permissions lay out the acceptable wander of data that 39 common app sorts are entitled to collect, as TechCrunch reported.

All forms of apps are subject to the requirements, including the increasingly popular” mini curricula ,” which are lite apps accessed through an all-encompassing native app such as WeChat and Alipay without the need for an app store install, said the brand-new document.

” Extraneous data is most often used for advertising roles, such as serving up localised ads or ads based on the user’s interests ,” said Todd Kuhns, sell overseer at AppInChina, a house that helps overseas apps distribute in China.” Developers could still request this additional info, but useds who refuse is more likely to still get ads and offers — exactly less related ones .”

For now, the document appears to be a guideline at best as it does not specify how the rules should be enforced and how offenders will be punished. While it tags China’s incremental progress on data protection, regulators will have to keep updating the rules as people’s daily lives are becoming more linked to digital inventions at a rapid rate.

In recent months, China has been securing down on the technological darlings that it used to pride itself on. It feed a sweeping antitrust constitution to rein in its “platform economy” and hurled anti-competition penalties on Alibaba and Tencent, following Ant Group’s IPO fiasco.

China’s internet regulator takes aim at impelled data collection

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