China cracks down on apps illegally harvesting personal info

Updated: Jan 29, 2019 Xinhua Print
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BEIJING -- China has started a year-long campaign to crack down on apps illegally collecting and using personal information.

Apps in areas such as e-commerce, navigation, delivery and ticketing are the main targets of the campaign, jointly launched by the Central Cyberspace Administration Commission (CAC), the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the Ministry of Public Security and the State Administration for Market Regulation.

Operators of apps must strictly fulfill the responsibilities and duties issued by the Cybersecurity Law, should not ask for personal information that is irrelevant to their services, and not forcefully authorize collation of personal information.

"The crackdown this time covers a wider range of apps and features more profound assessments and systemized approaches," said Yang Chunyan, an official with the CAC.

During the campaign, authorities will carry out stronger supervision and punishment of the illicit collection and usage of personal data, including demanding rectifications, taking down apps and revoking moderator certificates, as well as action against criminal acts.

Assessments will also be conducted on major apps concerning their privacy policies and usage of personal data, and search engines and app stores will be encouraged to highlight or prioritize verified apps in terms of the security of personal information.

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