Before and after China’s new Data Laws: Privacy in Apps
We are really excited that our paper ‘Before and after China’s new Data Laws: Privacy in Apps’ has not only been accepted by the 7th Workshop on Technology and Consumer Protection (ConPro'23) but also received Best Paper award.
This is a piece of analytic work started from early 2020. In response to the widespread privacy threats increasingly identified in mobile apps, China introduced a range of new data protection laws over recent years, notably the Personal Information Protection Law (PIPL) in 2021. So far, there exists limited research on the impacts of these new laws on apps’ privacy practices. To address this gap, we analysed data collection in pairs of 634 Chinese iOS apps, one version from early 2020 and one from late 2021. Our work finds that many more apps now implement consent. Yet, those end-users that decline consent will often be forced to exit the app. Fewer apps now collect data without consent but many still integrate tracking libraries. We see our findings as characteristic of a first iteration at Chinese data regulation with room for improvement.