Chinese authorities to overhaul problematic apps to better address personal information safety in 2021: official
Published: Mar 15, 2021 02:53 PM
Data privacy  Illustration: VCG

Data privacy Illustration: VCG

Chinese authorities will continue to work for overhauling problematic apps in 2021 so as to strengthen protection of consumers' personal information, Zhao Yang, an official with the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), said in response to the ongoing cases of leaking personal information connected to several apps.

Zhao said that the country is now drafting a regulation on protecting personal information on mobile internet apps, Beijing Youth Daily reported on Monday.

The comment came as the China Consumers Association revealed a series of key problems about consumption safety on Monday, which is the World Consumer Rights Day, also known as "3.15" in China.

The association listed food waste, commercial scams, false publicity and leaking of private information as four hot issues.

Along with the widespread application of new internet technologies, the safety of personal information encounters a variety of threats, for example, private information is illegally collected or even resold to others. According to a previous survey of the China Consumers Association, about 85.2 percent of consumers have ever faced with the problem of personal information being leaked.

The MIIT has launched special campaigns for a consecutive of two years targeting apps that illegally collect users' information and harass users, requiring 2,234 apps to make rectification and removing 132 apps whose rectification failed to meet standards, the ministry said in January.

Latest, the MIIT announced on Friday that a total of 136 mobile phone apps including Tencent Mobile Manager are found out to have engaged in actions that infringe users' rights and interests and haven't completed rectification by now.

"The MIIT requests notified companies to provide a response by Wednesday; otherwise, the government agency will conduct punishment according to laws and regulations," it said.