China’s Internet Regulator Says App Operators Need More Privacy Control

China’s internet regulator has said that a large number of mobile apps need to take rectification measures for the over-collection of personal data, clamping down on the practice as the country’s over 800 million mobile users increasingly shop and order services exclusively online.

The National Computer Network Emergency Response Technical Team issued its half-yearly report on Tuesday, saying a national response to the problem was necessary. Beijing authorities last month censured several popular apps, including food delivery platform Ele.me and social commerce site Xiaohongshu, for over-collection of user data.

“A large number of apps exhibit abnormal behavior, such as detecting other apps or reading and writing user device files, posing a potential security threat to the user’s information security,” regulators wrote in the report.

China’s regulators are also collecting public feedback on the issue, as many internet users have posted concerns on social media sites about apps that force them to share their personal data in order to use a service or complete a transaction.

Beijing authorities have taken down a number of apps in recent months over privacy and content issues, seeking rectification measures by operators.

Edited from South China Morning Post