China’s authorities brought out an online privacy compliance assessment tool on Tuesday, the country’s latest move to strengthen the protection of personal information.

Why it matters: China has stepped up its efforts to combat the misuse of personal info since the turn of the year as the internet sector remains hungry for users’ data.

  • Nearly one-third of the 1,300 cases reported to the country’s internet watchdog between January and April relate to the collection of data without specific consent.
  • Another 20% of the cases are related to apps gathering information irrelevant to their businesses, according to the Cyberspace Administration of China.

Details: The tool offers free online services including corporate privacy policy assessment for mobile apps and self-assessment for personal information protection compliance, state-run Xinhua reported.

  • The tool was developed by the China Electronics Standardization Institute, part of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.
  • It is based on relevant laws, regulations, and standards on personal information protection, Xinhua reported a source from the institute as saying.

Context: The CAC launched a year-long crackdown in January to combat non-compliant and illegal data collection and processing, such as requiring authorization for use and unauthorized access to private data.

  • A special administration working group dedicated to apps has been set up by China’s National Information Security Standardization Technical Committee and the Internet Society of China.
  • The CAC introduced new data security regulations on May 28 stating that customized content using recommendation algorithms driven by personal information, including news feeds and advertising, should be explicitly labeled.

Wei Sheng

Writing about semiconductors and telecommunications.

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