China unveils draft rules to regulate mobile app data collection

Source: Global Times Published: 2020/12/2 11:53:40

Data privacy Illustration: VCG

Chinese authorities have unveiled draft rules aimed at regulating personal data collection on Tuesday aimed at further limiting the scope of mobile app's collection of personal data in the latest attempt enhancing data protection.

The Cyberspace Administration of China released a set of draft rules on Tuesday, covering 38 types of common apps including map navigation, online car hailing and instant messaging. The draft proposals, which have been released for public comment, limit necessary personal information permitted to be collected. 

Within the instant messaging category, an app is only allowed to collect the phone number of a registered user and relevant account information, including a user's account number and contact list.

The latest move to regulate data collection comes after China unveiled a set of draft laws addressing personal data protection in October, a significant step to address the long-term issue of information leaks and hacks.

As of September 2019, China had 851 million smartphone users, the highest number in the world, data platform Statista showed.

Mobile internet applications are widely used and play an important role in promoting economic and social development, helping ordinary citizens lead better and more productive lives. 

However, it is common for mobile apps to collect user's personal information beyond a reasonable scope. Additionally, in most cases users are unable to install and use an app if they refuse to agree to terms and conditions, the cyber administration said in a statement.

Posted in: ECONOMY

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