China is lifting additional security rules for apps that affect public opinion
China has released draft laws that require, among other things, to allow mobile apps if they provide news and go through a security assessment if they can influence public opinion. They must also adhere to cybersecurity guidelines and not endanger national security.
The Cyberspace Administration in China (CAC) on Wednesday unveiled proposed legislation to further regulate services provided through mobile apps and ensure that these work in line with other laws of the country, including including Personal Data Protection Law (PIPL) and Data Security Law.
Under the draft laws, operators that provided news services via mobile apps had to obtain permission to do so. They must also deliver these services within the scope of the license and as permitted by the license. However, the CAC did not analyze exactly what the permit would cover.
Operators of apps that have provided news, instant messaging, and other related services require their users to register based on their mobile number and ID card number. Users who have refused to do so or who have used false identity data should not be allowed to use the application.
Equipment operators were expected to put in place the necessary tools and equipment to manage user registration and accounts as well as review information and monitor usage. Registered users who have violated service agreements and laws are required to issue warnings and restrict or block access, where necessary.
In addition, mobile app operators that have introduced technologies and actions that may influence public or public perception are required to conduct security assessments in accordance with specified specifications. defined by CAC. However, a government agency did not provide details of what could be involved.
Operators should also not use their apps to perform activities that were illegal and that threatened national security or compromised social cohesion.
They must also comply with requirements set out in the country's cybersecurity law. If they find security flaws or other threats in their mobile app, they need to take immediate steps to plug the security holes and notify users in a timely manner. The security authorities should be notified of the security defect.
If adopted, the draft legal framework would apply to a variety of media including text, photo, voice, and video, and information platforms delivered through the mobile app, providing include instant messaging, FAQs, and community forums.
CAC said public feedback on the proposed law would close on January 20. It said the regulation was slated later this year.
The draft laws are the latest in China's efforts to halt what the government sees as problems within the digital economy, such as mismanagement of personal data.
CAC last year called for 33 mobile apps to collect more user data than it deemed necessary to offer their service. CAC said those companies, which included Baidu and Tencent Holdings, had broken local rules and collected personal information without the consent of their customers.