China’s cybersecurity watchdog is taking steps to stop the unnecessary data collection by apps.
Surprisingly, the regulators mentioned the scope “of personal information necessary for 38 common types of apps.” So, among others, it addresses map navigation, online ride-hailing and instant messaging.
Thus, the Central Cyberspace Affairs Commission came with the data that each of these types of apps can collect.
Data collection regulations would be a huge step
The new rules come after a draft of a data protection law, released in October. So, if the Chinese Communist Party would implement it, this would be “a milestone”, as China Daily, the party paper, mentioned.
The new law should restrict data practices both by private companies and among government departments.
So, according to the paper, “Some leaking of personal information has resulted in economic losses for individuals.” This happens “when the information is used to swindle the targeted individual of his or her money” the paper explained.
Moreover, it mentioned is that new technologies allowed the collection of information to extend to biological information. Thus, it “could result in serious consequences if such information is misused.”
No data gathering for some apps
Many apps in China force users to fill in personal data in order to access them. Thus, the new draft defines the “legal, proper and necessary” types of data collection.
So, the definition for the necessary data is the data that ensure the “normal operation of apps’ basic functions.” Thus, users that allow the collection of the necessary data, apps should grant them access.
Still, there are some apps which should grant users access without gathering any personal information. These are: live streaming, short video, video/music streaming, browsers, news, app stores and photo editors.
Although there is no mention about the way the law will be put into practice, this might mean a huge step for China. Still, the draft does not mention anything about the punishments for the offenders.