China is implementing new regulations aimed at clarifying the nature of the customer data that apps are allowed to gather.
The new rules will come into force on 1st May 2021, with the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) stating that app developers will be unable to deny access to users who are unwilling to provide non-essential data.
The CAC has criticised a “very prominent” trend for apps to collect personal data on customers that is extraneous to their core functionality, often by making users opt-in to authorisation that is “forced in disguise.”
The regulations will apply to 39 categories of apps, including gaming, messaging, navigation and payments. Thirteen of these categories will be blocked from requiring users to submit personal data, including fitness and short-form video apps.
The CAC added that China’s authorities would more closely monitor apps to ensure compliance, warning that any reported infringements of the new rules would be investigated swiftly. The new legislation has been under discussion for over three months, with the government reportedly keen to restrict the dominance of the country’s tech firms.