China Warns Navigation Apps Collect Personal User Data Without Consent

China warns app makers could face major penalties if they don't comply with the privacy guidelines 1 photo
Photo: GizmoChina
Navigation apps have become a must-have for drivers out there, as they make life behind the wheel a lot easier, especially because they provide everybody with a super-convenient way to reach a defined destination.
But on the other hand, choosing the right navigation app isn’t necessarily easy business, not only because of the features they provide but also due to what’s happening under their hood.

Chinese authorities, for example, have issued a warning that no less than 33 mobile applications, including a bunch of navigation apps from tech giants like Baidu and Tencent, are accessing all kinds of user details they don’t really need, and in many cases, they do the whole thing without asking for consent.

This is obviously serious business, and the Chinese Cyberspace Administration warns that all developers need to update their apps to align with the local privacy guidelines or otherwise be subject to penalties. The updates must be released to users in a maximum of 10 days, the regulator warns, explaining that the data some apps are trying to collect is extremely sensitive and in some cases includes contact lists.

On a similar front, tech giant Apple has recently launched a new iOS update that forces developers to inform users whenever their apps are trying to track them across other apps or websites.

Called App Tracking Transparency, the new policy requires app makers to display a prompt upon launch, essentially giving users the option to block the tracking if they don’t agree with their data to be accessed. In some cases, the collected information is accessed by third parties or resold to other companies to provide targeted advertising, with Apple warning that consumers could end up becoming a product per se.

China has introduced a new set of rules to protect Internet users, including a policy that blocks developers from banning users who don’t agree to provide personal information not required for the apps to work properly.
If you liked the article, please follow us:  Google News icon Google News Youtube Instagram
About the author: Bogdan Popa
Bogdan Popa profile photo

Bogdan keeps an eye on how technology is taking over the car world. His long-term goals are buying an 18-wheeler because he needs more space for his kid’s toys, and convincing Google and Apple that Android Auto and CarPlay deserve at least as much attention as their phones.
Full profile


Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories