Apps that could influence public opinion require security review in China

Apps that could influence public opinion require security review in China

January 6, 2021: -China’s cyberspace regulator said Wednesday that developers launching apps that can influence public opinion should undergo a security review.

The move marks more than step by Beijing to control and monitor information on China’s highly censored internet.

It’s unclear what regulators consider functions or technologies to influence public opinion.

The latest rules are part of a draft regulation issued by the increasingly powerful Cyberspace Administration of China on Wednesday, seeking to lay out a framework for how app makers should operate.

The rules say that app providers should not use their software to engage in activities that endanger national security or disrupt social order.

The CAC said that any news information apps must also obtain a license, which is subject to review by the regulators. China’s news landscape is broadly state-backed and already highly censored.

Over the previous year, China has tightened regulation on its domestic technology sector in areas from antitrust to cybersecurity.

The CAC’s recent document brings together previous laws and regulations into one set of rules though much of it is not new.

For example, app makers must have strong data protection in place. China had already passed a landmark personal data protection law last year.

According to Wednesday’s draft rules, users must also sign up for the app using their real identity. This has been happening for a while in China, where real identity is linked to state-issued ID cards and mobile phone numbers.

The cyberspace regulator said the rules are open to public comment and will come into force this year, but no exact date has been given.

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Apps that could influence public opinion require security review in China