Dec 05, 2019 (China Knowledge) - Authorities in China has once again clamped down on mobile apps that illegally collect personal information and data of users, with 100 apps taken offline after being deemed to have violated data collection regulations.
The 100 mobile apps belong to different categories, including finance and banking, e-commerce and reading apps. In particular, banking mobile apps of China Everbright Bank, Tianjin Rural Commercial Bank and Bank of Tianjin, as well as e-commerce app Kaola Haitao were taken offline. Novel reading platform Jinjiang and real estate classifieds app Fang.com were also removed from app stores in China.
According to the Ministry of Public Security, the mobile apps taken offline were found to violate existing data regulations, such as the lack of privacy agreements and information on users’ disclosure of personal data. Some apps were also found to collect sensitive or unnecessary data of users. After the investigations, 63 mobile apps received warnings and 27 apps were required to rectify the violations in data collection. 10 companies were also fined, while 2 are currently undergoing criminal investigations by the relevant authorities.
The recent crackdowns in mobile apps violating data regulations comes after increasing pressure by organizations and users for greater data security in China. Miscollection and overcollection of data remains a significant issue in China, with many vendors selling users’ data to companies illegally. Data theft and leaks have also raised numerous privacy and security concerns by internet and mobile apps users in China. In H2 this year, the Ministry of Public Security has punished close to 700 mobile apps found to violation data regulations.
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