Notice of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology on the special rectification work of APP infringing on the rights and interests of users

Release date: 11-06-2019

Source: Ministry of Industry and Information Technology

Letter of Letter from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology [ 2019 ] No. 337

Provinces, autonomous regions, and municipalities’ communications administrations, China Academy of Information and Communications Technology, China Internet Association, and related units:

At present, APP violates regulations to collect personal information, excessive claims, frequent harassment, and infringement of user rights and other issues, and there is a strong response from the masses and a high degree of social attention. Combining with the construction of the information and communication industry in 2019 and the rectification of work arrangements, our ministry decided to organize a special action to rectify APP violations of users’ rights and interests. The relevant matters are notified as follows:
 

I. Remediation content

According to the “Network Security Law”, “Telecommunications Regulations”, “Several Provisions Regulating the Order of the Internet Information Services Market” (Ministry of Industry and Information Technology Order No. 20 ), “Provisions on the Protection of Personal Information of Telecommunications and Internet Users” (Ministry of Industry and Information Technology) Order No. 24 ) and “Interim Provisions on Provisioning and Distribution Management of Mobile Intelligent Terminal Application Software” (Ministry of Industry and Information Technology Administration [ 2016 ] No. 407 ) and other laws and regulations and normative document requirements, focusing on the aggression of users that are strongly reflected by society and highly concerned by society Rights and interests, focusing on the standardization of the eight categories of issues in the following four areas:

(I) Collection of personal information of users in violation of regulations

1. “Private Collection of Personal Information”. That is, the app collects user personal information without explicitly telling the purpose, method and scope of collecting and using personal information and obtaining user consent. 

2. “Exceeded Collection of Personal Information”. That is, the APP collects personal information, which is not necessary or reasonable for the service, and collects personal information beyond the scope or frequency, such as address books, locations, ID cards, faces, etc.

(B) the illegal use of user personal information

3. “Privately Share to Third Parties”. That is, the app shares and uses the user’s personal information without the user’s consent, such as device identification information, product browsing history, search usage habits, and common software application lists.

4. “Force users to use targeted push feature”. That is, the APP does not inform the user, or does not mark it in a prominent way. The collected personal information such as user search, browsing history, and usage habits is used for targeted push or precision marketing, and there is no option to turn off this function.
 

(C) Unreasonably asking for user rights

5. “Do not give permission to use.” That is, when the APP is installed and running, it asks the user for permissions that are not related to the current service scenario. After the user refuses to authorize, the application quits or closes.

6. “Frequently apply for permission”. That is, after the user explicitly rejects the permission application, the APP frequently applies to open the address book, positioning, text message, recording, camera and other permissions that are not related to the current service scenario, and harass the user.

7. “Excessive Request for Permission”. That is, when the user is not using related functions or services, the APP applies for permission to open the address book, location, text message, recording, camera, etc. in advance, or exceeds its business functions or services, and applies for the permission of address book, positioning, text message, recording, camera, etc. .
 

(D) Set obstacles for user account logout

8. “Account cancellation is difficult”. That is, the APP does not provide users with account cancellation services or set unreasonable obstacles for cancellation services.

Remediation Object

This special rectification work is mainly targeted at two types of objects: one is the APP service provider, which mainly checks whether the aforementioned 8 types of problems exist ; the second is the APP distribution service provider, including the application store and the basic telecommunication enterprise business hall, which are responsible for the APP distribution function. Enterprises of all types mainly check whether relevant requirements such as the “Interim Provisions on Management of Provisioning and Distribution of Application Software for Mobile Intelligent Terminals” (Ministry of Industry and Information Technology Administration [ 2016 ] No. 407 ) are implemented.
 

Work arrangements

Special work time of the issuance of the notification date to 12-20-2019. Implementation in three phases:

(A) the enterprise self-correction stage (till the date of notification issued 11 Yue 10 days). The APP service provider carefully conducted self-checks against the aforementioned 8 types of problems, and found that the problems were rectified in a timely manner; the APP distribution service provider organization carried out a comprehensive inspection of the distributed APP, supervised and rectified the problematic illegal application software, and should organize the organization that refused to correct Take it off the shelf.
 

(B) supervision stage ( 2019 Nian 11 Yue 11 Ri Zhi 11 Yue 30 days). Our ministry will organize third-party testing agencies to carry out technical testing and inspection of APPs, with a focus on random testing of APP products and distribution platforms that are closely related to the people’s lives and have a large amount of downloaded usage. To the APP, which has strong feedback from the masses, is difficult to accept, and is considered unreasonable, our Ministry will organize the Telecommunications User Committee, China Internet Association, and relevant media organizations to conduct user and expert reviews. The Communications Administration of each province, autonomous region, and municipality directly under the Central Government may carry out inspections according to the actual local conditions and report the results to the Ministry (Information and Communications Administration).
 

(C) the result of the disposal phase ( 2019 Nian 12 Yue 1 Ri Zhi 12 Yue 20 days). Our ministry will uniformly report APPs that have problems and deal with them in accordance with laws and regulations. Specific measures include ordering rectification, making announcements to the society, organizing APP delisting, stopping APP access services, and incorporating illegal entities subject to administrative penalties into telecommunications services. List of bad management or dishonesty, etc.
 

Work requirements
 

(1) Practically raise ideological awareness. All units must resolutely implement the people-centered development ideology, earnestly raise their political standing, attach great importance to this special rectification work, carefully organize and plan carefully, refine the rectification measures, and strive to solve the most direct and most realistic interests of the masses. Problem, in order to achieve practical results.
 

(2) Smooth channels for user complaints. During the special rectification work, all enterprises should unblock the channels of user complaints and improve the complaint handling service mechanism and procedures. The China Internet Association should accept complaints from the public through the Internet Information Service Complaint Platform ( https://ts.isc.org.cn/) or the 12321 Reporting Center, and collect and deal with related issues in a timely manner.
 

(3) Consolidate and establish a long-term mechanism. The APP has a large number of users, a wide range of influences, and a strong coupling. The standardized management involves many subjects and long chains, and requires the co-governance of corporate self-regulation, social supervision and government supervision. All units should take this special rectification work as an opportunity to continuously sum up experience, analyze the reasons, learn from each other, and consolidate the results to lay the foundation for the subsequent standardization of industry management.

Hereby notified.

(Tel: 010 – 66,011,239 / 68,206,119 )
Ministry of Industry and Information Technology
10-31-2019

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