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LinkedIn, Bing among apps slammed by Chinese government over data collection

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China's internet watchdog has put Bing, LinkedIn and over 100 hundred other apps on notice for illegally collecting and overusing the personal data of their users.

As reported by the South China Morning Post (opens in new tab), the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) discovered that 105 apps had violated several of the country's data privacy laws after receiving complaints from users. The CAC then made its findings public in a notice posted on its official WeChat account.

Apps created by a number of Western and Chinese tech giants made the list including ByteDance's TikTok and its Chinese counterpart Douyin, Microsoft's search app Bing and its professional social network LinkedIn, Tencent's music streaming service Kugou and Baidu's mobile browser (opens in new tab).

All of the 105 apps that were found to illegally access and over-collect the data of their users have 15 business days to rectify these violations or face penalties from the Chinese government.

Data privacy crackdown

Earlier this month, new regulations (opens in new tab) from China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) came into effect and since then, the CAC has been cracking down on apps that violate them.

The regulations hold app providers accountable for collecting “excessive” user data that is unrelated to their core services while forcing users to give uninformed consent to how their data is used, according to the South China Morning Post.

Last year the Chinese government drafted its new Personal Information Protection Law (opens in new tab) in an effort to prevent personal privacy breaches in the country as it has the most internet users in the world at 1bn. If passed, the law will fine businesses up to $7.7m or five percent of their annual revenue for abusing the data of their users.

However, the CAC's scrutiny of these and other apps is part of a wider crackdown in China on the country's tech giants with Alibaba hit with a record billion-dollar fine (opens in new tab) just last month.

Via South China Morning Post (opens in new tab)

After working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches and ransomware gangs to the best way to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.