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Beijing bashes Bing and lashes LinkedIn over improper data collection and storage

Microsoft properties and 103 other inappropriate apps - including TikTok and Baidu - given 15 days to rectify their wicked ways

After receiving complaints from users, the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) has ordered 105 apps to stop improperly collecting and using people's personal data.

Among the listed 105 apps are Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok, TikTok itself, Chinese video-sharing app Kuaishou, music streaming service Kugou, plus apps from local search engines Sogou and Baidu.

Microsoft-owned LinkedIn and Bing are also on the list, both for collecting more information than is necessary for the provision of their services.

The internet watchdog has given the companies 15 working days to correct the issues or face penalties.

Microsoft China may have seen this coming, as the company stopped signing up new LinkedIn members in March 2021, citing the need to ensure compliance with local laws.

On May 1, China’s new regulations for use of personal information by apps came into effect. The new regulations required informed and active consent to use consumer data. Beijing promised to monitor apps for compliance.

Microsoft is in good company in terms of having been told to clean up its apps, as the day before the abovementioned regulations came into effect, 33 aps, including some made by Alibaba, Baidu and Tencent, were identified as illegally collecting data and given 10 days to rectify their behaviour.

China has shown an increased willingness to crack down on tech companies for a range of things from building monopolies to producing what it terms “unhealthy content.” ®

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