Shopping malls found to ask more than simply fees for parking
Nearly half of 140 shopping malls investigated by the Shanghai Consumer Council are found to have irregularities over privacy protection when consumers scan QR codes to pay parking fees.
It is part of the council's efforts to combat excessive collection of private information following the scenarios in restaurants and coffee shops that also need rectified use of digital technologies.
Based on an undercover investigation by the council, 27 shopping malls required consumers to register for mandatory membership and asked for personal information including their name and cell phone numbers when they scanned a code to pay the fees.
SML Center, BFC, Aegean Place, Super Brand Mall, Longemont Shopping Mall and Huaihai 755 were some offenders on the list.
Another 33 shopping malls including iapm, Réel Mall and Shanghai IFC are found to be tricking consumers into following their official WeChat accounts as a prerequisite to pay parking fees, according to the council.
Fengshengli, Pudong Kerry Parkside and Changning Raffles are also on the list.
The investigation also exposed 18 malls that required consumers to provide WeChat and Alipay information to pay the fees.
The council called on these malls to offer QR codes that allowed consumers to pay parking fees directly and has passed its investigation results to Shanghai's cybersecurity authorities and market regulators, which will conduct inspections and crackdown against the violations.
The council on Tuesday released a guideline to regulate catering businesses, some of which were complained for making the offer of personal information compulsory for services like ordering food.