China says 33 apps collect and use personal data “illegally”

China said that 33 apps, including navigation app provided by Baidu and Tencent, violated regulations, many of which collect personal information not related to their services.

The relevant app operators should complete the rectification within 10 working days from the date of this announcement, the Cyberspace Administration of China said. If the rectification is not completed within the time limit, the app operators will be subject to penalties. 

Here you can find the full list of apps breaking rules in collecting and using user information.

The regulator also said in the statement that the apps collected personal data without users’ consent and app operators tried to convince customers to allow access to mobile phone contact lists. 

In late March, the Cyberspace Administration, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the Ministry of Public Security and the State Administration for Market Regulation jointly released a document that bans apps from collecting excessive user data. The rules went into effect on Saturday.

The new document said the requirements will apply to all mobile apps, including ‘’mini programs’’ as known as lite apps which can be accessed via an native app such as Alipay and WeChat without requiring users to download from the app stores.

Written by Sophie Blake

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