SHANGHAI (CHINA) – The Chinese state newspaper the People’s Daily has urged that the country should step up it’s efforts to protect online users against breaches of privacy and bids to steer web traffic by tightening regulations on the use of algorithms by internet platforms.
The comments in the ruling Communist Party’s official newspaper comes in the wake of criticism this month by the China Consumers Association which was aimed at internet companies that misuse personal data and “bully” people into purchases and promotions.
While stating that algorithms can cut costs by matching needs to services, the paper also pointed out that such platforms also infringe consumer rights by “improper application of algorithms” to invade privacy and direct web use , in an editorial on Thursday.
“It is necessary to establish a comprehensive supervision system…so that the algorithmic applications will follow rules and regulations and consumer rights can be protected,” it added.
China has ramped up scrutiny of its consumer internet companies in recent months, doling out fines and launching investigations into some of the most high-profile companies.
Late last year, Beijing issued draft rules aimed at preventing monopolistic behavior by internet companies. It also launched an anti-monopoly probe into Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.