August8 , 2022

China fines Didi Global $1.19b over data security violations

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Caption: A logo for ride-hailing giant Didi Global at their headquarters in Beijing, China, July 5, 2021. /CFP

Caption: A logo for ride-hailing giant Didi Global at their headquarters in Beijing, China, July 5, 2021. /CFP

China’s cyber security regulator fined Didi Global 8.026 billion yuan ($1.19 billion) on Thursday over data security and user privacy violations, concluding a one-year review. 

In addition the company’s chief executive Cheng Wei and president Liu Qing were each fined one million yuan. 

The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) found 16 illegal activities committed by the ride-hailing giant, including the unlawful collection of screenshot information from users’ mobile phone albums and the excessive collection of user clipboard information.

It also found the company has collected passengers’ facial recognition information and their precise location when the app is running in the background. 

Moreover the cybersecurity review found instances of Didi’s data processing activities that seriously affected national security. 

“Didi’s illegal operations have brought serious security risks to China’s key information infrastructure and data security,” an official with the CAC said in an interview published alongside the ruling. 

The official added that Didi had seriously violated laws and regulations and should be severely punished. 

The official specified that the violations had started as early as June 2015 and have lasted for seven years, defying regulatory instructions to rectify. Didi repeatedly violated the Cybersecurity Law implemented in June 2017, the Data Security Law implemented in September 2021, and the Personal Information Protection Law that came into effect in November 2021. 

Regulators found that Didi has illegally processed a massive amount of over 64 billion pieces of personal information. 

Didi Global said in a statement following the fine that it accepts the decision sincerely and will conduct rectifications. 

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