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Sub-anchor: 70% say personal information leaked


11-23-2016 05:27 BJT

China Youth University for Political Sciences and the Cover Institute have issued a report on personal information security and privacy protection. The report is based on over million respondents and it says that people are not confident. For more, we are joined by my colleague Jin Yingqiao.

Q1, Give us a sense of how serious the situation is.

A1, The report has unsurprisingly painted a not so rosy picture. Over 70 percent of respondents say they feel their personal information is being seriously leaked. More than 80 percent say they have received calls from strangers who know their names or employers.

Some of the common ways of having your personal information harvested in China: Simply by surfing the web; the passwords to your email, instant messaging or social media accounts getting stolen; or even when you purchase house, car, or sit an exam. The report says many people lack the awareness to protect themselves. For example, about half of respondents say they just throw away their courier receipts after receiving their package while their address and phone number are on the receipts. 34 percent say they will use whatever free WIFI is available to stay connected, without regard to security. 

Q2, So it seems it's really difficult not to leak your information yourself.

A1, Indeed, now it's an age of "big data", when your information online is an asset of tech companies. But right now it seems it all depends on the good faith of those companies in protecting your privacy. And indeed there're reports of black markets selling private data. Some companies harvest it without your consent.

Recently, some cellphone apps designed to help block junk calls have been exposed for collecting users' contact lists, there's a function which will give you the owner's name and social media account when you type in the phone number... even without the owners' consent.  All this has average users left asking what exactly they can do.

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