WeChat data sharing exceeds expectations, privacy policy misleading

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A new study by Citizen Lab Toronto has found that WeChat, China’s largest social media platform, may be sharing more user data than users expect. The study, which was published on Monday, found that WeChat collects data from users even when they are not using the app, and that the company’s privacy policy is not always clear about how this data is being used.

The study found that WeChat collects a wide range of data from users, including their contact information, location data, and financial information. The company also collects data about how users use the app, such as what they click on and what they share.

WeChat faces scrutiny for security and privacy issues. Messages lack end-to-end encryption, allowing Tencent to access them. Mainland China users experience automated censorship. Even non-China users’ communications are monitored for political surveillance.

Mini Programs are lightweight apps within WeChat, covering various services. Some deal with sensitive data like health or financial information. However, the Mini Program ecosystem has been criticized for privacy and security concerns. To analyze WeChat’s data flows, the researchers used reverse engineering methods on the Android version of the app. They also conducted dynamic analysis and simulated various user activities to track data transmissions.

The sources for this piece include an article in CPOMAGAZINE.


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