This year, data privacy has become a widely discussed issue around the world, with several companies criticized for selling users’ personal data without any explicit consent. In China, an increasing amount of personal data is shared as the number and popularity of online finance, e-commerce, entertainment and other platforms grows. Despite the introduction of new comprehensive data protection laws in May 2018, the private data of Chinese consumers is still widely available for purchase to financial institutions, insurance companies and scammers.
Last week, a study conducted by the China Consumers Association
revealed that the majority of Chinese apps collect and use a worrying amount of personal data. Most of the apps, including very popular e-commerce apps
, collect at least location information, browsing history, and mobile phone numbers. Online shopping apps such as Taobao, JD.com and Tmall collect the most different types of data compared to other e-commerce apps.
The situation would likely look much less dramatic if the study had not revealed that only 53 percent of all apps analyzed have passed China Consumers Association’s assessment as having sufficient privacy terms and conditions. Around 34 percent of data collecting apps did not have any privacy policies at all.