back to article It's 2019, and from Beijing to Blighty folk are still worried about slurp-happy apps

China's Internet Society chapter has warned local internet app-makers to tone down their collection of personal information. Last week, the society convened an expert panel with the country's Information and Communication Administration (part of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology) to present the results of its …

  1. malle-herbert Silver badge
    Big Brother

    And people look at me funny...

    When I tell them I don't own a smartphone...

    Then I point them to sh*t like this...

    1. ProbablyUnknown

      Re: And people look at me funny...

      Sadly, most don't care what their phone, Google or Facebook does "because they've got nothing to hide" but suddenly get their panties in a bunch if their PC or tablet leaks the same information..

      1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

        Re: And people look at me funny...

        Just ask any one of those people to hand over their phone (unlocked) so you look through their internet history, read their text messages, etc. Suddenly they find that privacy is not pointless!

  2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    I'm a bit surprised . . .

    . . that China has not yet mandated a government-managed personal data repository that all developers are supposed to use.

    Is that in the wings yet ?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I'm a bit surprised . . .

      ". . that China has not yet mandated a government-managed personal data repository that all developers are supposed to use."

      Why would they need to?

    2. Aodhhan Bronze badge

      Re: I'm a bit surprised . . .

      They really don't have to.

      Encryption is pretty much outlawed unless you have permission from the government.

      The government owns all ISPs and routers.

      So they just happily sniff away and get the entire picture. Not to mention, they likely require ISPs to install hidden monitoring applications on each device.

  3. ProbablyUnknown

    And a reason why I don't use many apps. If sites demand scripts to view my personal information as a prerequisite to visit their site, I simply move on.

    1. thosrtanner

      But the problem is these apps aren't asking your permission. They just do it anyway.

  4. Teiwaz Silver badge

    Developers warned not to overindulge in personal data

    Is it really developers, or the Cloven-hoofed Marketing dept's they're behooven to?

  5. Pangasinan Philippines

    Google Maps

    I declined to update Google maps when they wanted access to my contacts.

    That was over a year ago.

    I doubt that the road network has changed much over that period.

    Maps works just fine as it as.

    No update required

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Google Maps

      Why not just dump Maps? It's constantly sucking data up and spamming notifications at you to get you to crowdsource for Google.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sounds like a violation of GDPR

    #It claimed 61 per cent of the apps it tested sent information to Facebook as soon as the app was opened,

    #apps were frequently sending information sufficient to profile users back to Zuckerberg's ad farm – even if the individual wasn't a Facebook user.

    #Some apps went further, sending detailed information about how users interact with their apps to Facebook

  7. Tikimon Silver badge

    Missing the damn point!

    ""All relevant internet companies have made active efforts to strengthen the protection of users' personal information.""

    NO NO NO! It's not about protecting the info they've stolen from us, it's about not having it taken in the first place! No data harvesting, no data to "protect".

    It's also ludicrous to talk about "protecting" our private data when the company is going to sell it to someone they approve of. That's simply vetted, secondhand theft of personal info.

    1. vir

      Re: Missing the damn point!

      Unfortunately, the prevalent smartphone app business model almost ensures that this trend will continue. As long as "we take your privacy seriously" is good enough for 99% of users, there will be no change.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Missing the damn point!

      protecting the info they've stolen from us

      In most cases they haven't stolen it, they've taken it in lieu of cash payment. People like stuff they don't have to pay cash for, how else will the developers get paid? The issue of informed consent is an important, but largely different matter.

      Which points up that an unfortunate omission from even the strongest data protection laws is a requirement to have a paid version of any app or service that (by law) has the same price as the provable value per user associated with data or ad-funded versions, but doesn't scrape any data at all. A tiny minority of apps already do this, why not put that on a legal footing? Might also be necessary to slowly break the fingers of Apple and Google's CEOs to persuade them that their app stores aren't entitled to 30% of revenues.

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