China’s internet watchdog finds 33 mobile apps broke data privacy rules

China data privacy rules
Image by Alessandro Biascioli | Bigstockphoto

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – China’s main internet watchdog has found that 33 mobile phone apps have broken data privacy rules by collecting data without consent, among other issues.

The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC), in a statement published on Saturday on its official website, identified map apps, those used for instant messaging and others with more functions, such as the downloading of emojis.

The CAC said the programs collected data without consent, more information was collected than needed for operational purposes and that data was not deleted or revised in accordance with regulations.

Companies have 10 days to comply with the rules or face a fine.

Beijing has been clamping down on the country’s vast “platform economy”, used for a whole range of e-commerce activities from banking to food delivery.

The crackdown started with last year’s shelving of Ant Group’s $37 billion IPO and has expanded across the sector, battering companies’ share prices.

(Reporting by Engen Tham. Editing by Jane Merriman)

Editor’s note: Unlike the GDPR, China’s Personal Information Protection Law (PIPL) does not differentiate between a data controller and data processor, instead only allocates liability and compliance requirements to “personal data processor,” which under the PIPL refers to organizations or individuals that independently determines the purpose, scope and means of processing of personal data. The personal data processor under the PIPL is akin to the data controller under the GDPR. The PIPL applies to the processing of individuals’ personal data that takes place in China regardless of the nationality of such individuals. Source: iapp

Related article: As China gets tough on mobile apps and big tech, should others follow?

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