These days, map apps have become an essential part of our life. While they do bring us great convenience, our personal data may be acquired as well and subsequently, the risk of information leakage. According to Shine, Shanghai Consumer Council (SCC) released its report on the issue yesterday and asked related corporate companies to stop collecting users'personal data. This includes popular service providers like Baidu, Amap and Mapbar.
The report suggests that 97.6 percent of the sampled participants have map apps installed on their phones, among which 40 percent have two map apps, and 7 percent have three.
Despite high demand, these smartphone users seem to have little faith in the integrity of the map apps. The SCC report entails 82.6 percent of the participants fear the apps will leak their personal information without formal consent, with a quarter showing expressed concerns over identity frauds.
Such concerns may not be groundless after all. The results reveal that all five tested apps require users'permission to share personal data before they can use the app. One of the tested apps, Mapbar, was found to have been collecting data without asking for permission.
"Once users grant these apps the access to their personal data, they’ll gain the permission forever," Tang Jiansheng, deputy secretary-general of the council, tells Shine. "That's why we suggest the map app operators develop 'one-time' option. Consumers should have rights to choose whether to grant permanent permission or one-time permission, which is more safe and rational." Tang also advocates for relevant regulations to be implemented accordingly.
After meeting with the SCC, most map app operators have promised that they will cancel the request for unnecessary personal information - except Mapbar, who didn't send representatives to yesterday's meeting at all.
[Images via Pexels]