A consumer rights group has withdrawn a public interest suit against Chinese tech firm Baidu after the company removed its apps’ “snooping” functions. Also Read - 52 Chinese apps red-flagged by Indian Intel agencies; TikTok, ShareIt, UC Browser, Clean Master in list
A court in east China’s Jiangsu province had accepted a lawsuit filed by the Jiangsu provincial consumer rights protection committee against Baidu in January. Also Read - Thousands of Android apps come with hidden backdoor: Report
The committee accused Beijing Baidu Netcom Science and Technology Co. Ltd. of ignoring an instruction to remove some functionality from Baidu mobile and browser apps which monitor users’ contacts and activity, Xinhua news agency reported on Thursday. Also Read - Baidu beats Google in global smart speaker market while Amazon maintains lead: Canalys
The committee began an investigation in July last year into “snooping” by 27 app developers.
Except for Baidu, the other 26 firms all took measures to remove or optimize functions to adhere to the committee’s instructions.
The apps violate consumers’ rights by passing on their personal information, often directly resulting in telemarketing calls and telecom fraud, the committee said.
The committee said Baidu’s modified apps went online in February. The committee withdrew its suit as Baidu had removed improper functions.