May 3, 2021
A document jointly released by Chinese regulatory authorities has revealed that, as of May 1, 2021, user applications operating in the country may be barred from requiring their users to provide to them their excessive personal data. This change, as reported by TechCrunch, comes after a December 2020 document released by Chinese authorities laid out the acceptable range of data that certain app types are entitled to collect. The regulatory change is said to apply to all forms of apps, including mini-apps which are those apps that are accessed through an all-encompassing native app (thereby passing the need for a separate app installation).
Currently, apps in China may decline access to those user’s who decline to provide excessive personal information. With the new regulatory changes, apps could still request this excessive personal information, but users who refuse to provide it must still be allowed access to the app.
While the regulatory document seems to be a promising step forward in the data-protection space, given the absence of an enforcement provision it is if the document amounts to anything more than a guideline for the time being.
Author: Nargis Fazli