China's IT regulator on Friday blamed top internet firms for disobeying privacy rules.
According to a post on the website of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) on Friday, the regulator held a meeting with three tech firms - Ant Financial, the payment affiliate of Alibaba Group Holdings, China's search giant Baidu Inc and Beijing Bytedance Technology Co, which oversees Jinri Toutiao, one of the most popular mobile news apps in China - for their personal privacy breaches.
"The three firms failed to disclose sufficient information on why they collected personal data," said the ministry, requesting them to make rectifications immediately to guarantee users' right to know and freedom of choice.
Jinri Toutiao said on its WeChat account on Friday that obtaining or using users' information without their permission does not exist in all the app's products, denying rumors that the company stole information through its microphone. "There is no such issue for our company and we have reported it to the MIIT," the company said.
The Cyberspace Administration of China met with Alipay and Sesame Credit under Ant Financial on January 6 about the Alipay yearly spending sharing incident.
Ant Financial formed a team dedicated to protecting user data and safeguarding privacy throughout the company, the company said in a note sent to the Global Times on Wednesday.
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