Tencent data collection practices scrutinised by Chinese consumer watchdog

Chinese tech giant Tencent’s data collection practices have been scrutinized by a consumer rights group in China.

The Shanghai Consumer Council has asked Tencent to clarify if the company has stopped collecting user data, if it will continue collecting the data if users opt-out of personalized ads and what it does with unused data.

Tencent owns messaging platform WeChat, which has 1.26 billion monthly active users. WeChat previously made it hard for its users to opt out of personalized ads by forcing them to go through 11 steps. This has since been improved to five steps.

The increased scrutiny comes after China’s Personal Information Protection Law came into effect at the start of November. It lays out a comprehensive set of rules for how businesses should collect, use, process, share and transfer personal information in China.

It also places requirements on data processors to obtain consent from individuals to be able to process sensitive types of data, such as biometrics, medical and health data, financial information, and location data.

The Drum previously took a deeper look inside China’s efforts to regulate how businesses use data and to further protect the personal data of its citizens.