In somewhat of a turnaround, Chinese internet regulators have found Microsoft and other companies guilty of collecting excessive personal data from users of the Chinese version of Bing, LinkedIn and other apps.
In a statement on WeChat (noted by SCMP), the Chinese internet regulatory watchdog, the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC), found 105 apps guilty of violating China’s new Personal Information Protection Law. Companies can be fined up to 5% of their revenue.
The statement notes that CAC has received complaints from users and found the violations after investigation. The companies, which include TikTok, have 15 days to remediate the problem.
Companies are prohibited from collecting more data than necessary for their core function, and for forcing users to agree to data collection without proper informed consent.
China is currently cracking down on technology companies, with Alibaba being fined a record 18.2 billion yuan ($2.8 billion) for monopolistic behaviour (and their CEO disappeared for a period), and ByteDance’s CEO (who owns TikTok) resigning.