Regulators warn fintech apps over data collection practices
An investigation from a regulator task force released on Friday a list of 61 apps which infringe on user privacy through “problematic” data collection practices, many of which are online lending and fintech apps.
Why it matters: The move is part of the larger crackdown on mobile app data collection practices and privacy violations.
- Last week, TechNode reported China’s internet regulator, Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), released a different list of apps found to have violated regulations on data collection, including popular apps by Tencent, Xiaomi, and Sina Weibo.
Details: The Personal Information Protection Task Force on Apps flagged 57 apps for problematic personal information collection practices. The evaluation was released Friday on its official WeChat account. The apps are required to report and provide feedback to the regulator within 30 days. There will be another evaluation after a month, and companies that fail the second round will face legal consequences, the regulator said.
- In addition, four apps have failed to complete “rectification” after a warning sent to 134 app operators as a result of an investigation which ran from July to October.
- The four apps include Ping An Technology’s mobile wifi app U-Link, consumer finance app by US-listed Yirendai, peer-to-peer lending app 51rp by Hong Kong-listed 51 Credit Card, and mobile lending app Wolaidai operated by Hong Kong-based WeLab.
- The investigating team was set up by government agencies including the MIIT, the Ministry of Public Security, and the General Administration of Market Supervision.
Context: Since the beginning of the year, regulators have ramped up efforts to fight illegal data collection and user privacy infringement behaviors rife among Chinese mobile apps.