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Chinese apps found to be collecting excessive amount of personal data

04 December 2018 3

A Chinese research agency has surveyed over 100 Chinese apps and has revealed that a lot of these Chinese apps collect way too much personal information like personal data, including user location, contact lists, and even the mobile numbers on the phone.

According to a report published by The China Consumers Association, a whopping 91 out of 100 mobile apps were found guilty of data abuse. Most prominent ones out of these from Google Play store and Apple's App Store are Alipay from Ant Financial Services, photo-editing software provider Meitu and bike-sharing platform Ofo.

Several other applications from the field of navigation, travel and hotel booking, cloud storage and wealth management services providers have been guilty of excessive data harvesting.

The reports has come out when users across the globe have become very sensitive about their data privacy and how companies are handling their personal data, in wake of the recent big controversial incidents of data theft privacy breach with some high-profile companies.

Chinese companies and even manufacturers have been caught doing so time and again. Bigger brands like Alibaba-backed Ant Financial have apologized in the past for making unnecessary opt-ins mandatory, however, the case of smaller companies and apps is a bit more extreme.

“Most of the apps [reviewed] received a pass or lower rating,” the consumer watchdog’s report said. “The problem [of excessive data harvesting] is especially severe among smaller app providers, which have no privacy clauses or provide unreasonable terms.”

This report suggested that consumer data protection in China needs immediate attention from the regulators as it is “under severe challenge” and it questions the policies and processes of China’s top three tech companies, Baidu, Alibaba, and Tencent.


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