Prosecutors act on information protection

Shanghai prosecutors have issued suggestions to 10 app providers, urging them to enhance the protection of users' personal information.

Shanghai prosecutors have issued suggestions to 10 app providers, urging them to enhance the protection of users' personal information.

Earlier, 23 political advisers with the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference Shanghai Committee filed a proposal on the local procuratorates' function regarding public interest litigation related to the infringement of consumers' privacy by apps.

They suggested local prosecutors urge the city government to enhance its supervision and industries' self-regulation.

As a result, Shanghai People's Procuratorate visited local authorities including the city's office of cyberspace affairs and market watchdog. 

Earlier this month, it organized district procuratorates to launch investigations on illegal collection of users' private information by apps.

Ten apps, covering fields such as overseas education, childcare, recruitment, money management and online shopping, were found to be illegally gaining user authorization, using non-standard and vague text in privacy policies and defective information protection mechanisms.

A few even have no privacy policies, and failed to give clear illustrations about their treatment of users' information after they canceled their accounts.

As a result, prosecutors issued procuratorial suggestions to the 10 app providers. 

They advised the providers give clear and definite statements on the type, aim, method and range of these apps' access. The apps cannot demand users agree to some functions irrelevant to the services they provide.

The app providers should further improve their user agreements and privacy policies and smooth the way for users to make complaints.

Prosecutors also issued procuratorial suggestions to the app stores and urged them to fulfil their supervision and management duties.

Stores are asked to take measures against apps which violate the rules such as issuing warnings or removing them.

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