New rule to strengthen apps’ handling of personal information: MIIT
Published: Apr 26, 2021 04:54 PM
Illustration for facial recognition Illustration: VCG

Illustration for facial recognition Illustration: VCG

China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) on Monday began to solicit public opinion on draft rules to strengthen oversight of mobile apps' handling of personal information, and the regulator will move to ban apps that violate the new regulations.

The draft regulation specified that mobile apps should collect, store, use or transmit personal information in a lawful way. 

Handling personal information through cheating or mis-leading will be subject to regulatory action, according to the draft rule. It said that users' right of consent, to be informed, to be able to make choices and to protect personal information safety should be guaranteed.

Apps should inform users separately when they handle such sensitive personal information as ethnicity, religious belief and personal biological characteristics, and will not be permitted to handle such information until they receive users; consent, the MIIT said. The ministry said apps that handle personal information shouldn't exceed the scope of users' consent.

The rule, once enacted, will help regulate mobile apps' disposal of personal information and therefore strengthen protection of users' privacy.

According to the MIIT, problematic apps that require an overhaul should complete the task and remove any problematic issues within five working days. For those which refuse to rectify or there are still problems after rectification, the apps will be removed.

In addition, apps that repeatedly report problems or severely violate the rules will be removed quickly, and those removed apps will not be allowed to re-launch in 40 working days.

Global Times