Several Chinese government agencies have published new rules that require apps not to collect more information than is necessary for their operation. For example, news apps, video services and mobile games must provide access without asking users for information.
Apps that fall under categories such as live streaming, short videos, news, calendar, weather, mobile gaming, dictionaries and browsers should allow users to access their service without requiring users to provide information , South China Morning Post reports . The rules, effective May 1, come from China’s Cyberspace Bureau, Ministry of Information Technology, Public Security Bureau and State Market Regulation Agency.
The intention is that apps only request necessary information from users. For example, users’ taxi apps are allowed to know who they are, how they pay and from where to where they want to go. Webshops are allowed to know who they are, where they live and how they pay.
The privacy rules should protect citizens against unrestrained data collection via apps, something against which there were few rules until now. The Chinese state itself does collect data on telephone users on a large scale; the rules are specifically about data collection by companies.