(Yicai Global) Jan. 25 -- Authorities in China have reportedly begun scrutinizing mobile apps to clamp down on those that scoop up unwarranted amounts of personal information and use it illegally.
The inspection period will last all year, the Beijing News reported today, citing a joint statement issued by the cyberspace and market regulators and the ministries of information technology and public security.
Operators of apps must strictly fulfill their legal duties and obligations, be responsible for data security and take effective measures to boost privacy protection, the statement said. They also must not collect information that is irrelevant to the services they provide and state in their terms and conditions why personal data is needed in simple, clear language, and must get approval from users.
Providers cannot force users to give their authorization by blocking registration or other measures. They should also not misuse the information in a way that breaks the law and breaches agreements made with users, the statement added.
Inspectors will punish operators for violating rules and misusing private info. Offenders will be asked to rectify the situation within a certain period. In cases deemed serious, regulators will suspend business licenses and permits.
The public security agencies will set up a special taskforce to combat lawbreakers or those involved in criminal acts that invade privacy online, especially those aiming to acquire and use personal data. The authorities will invite relevant professional bodies to evaluate privacy policies and the use of personal data, the statement said.