Chinese app launched by govt allows access to 100 mn phones

Chinese app launched by govt allows access to 100 mn phones

In a startling revelation, a US-funded study has found out that the ruling party in China has access to all data on more than 100 million cellphones, a report in the Washington Post claimed. The access has been established through a propaganda app — Study the Great Nation — which was launched in January and since then it became the most downloaded mobile application in China. The app is considered as a high-tech parallel to Mao Zedong’s Little Black Book.

“The [Chinese Communist Party] essentially has access to over 100 million users’ data,” said Sarah Aoun, director of technology at the Open Technology Fund, an initiative funded by the U.S. government under Radio Free Asia. “That’s coming from the top of a government that is expanding its surveillance into citizens’ day-to-day lives.”

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The app contains news articles and videos. The readers can take part in quizzes and get scores.

Though the findings are scary as far as data security is concerned, many believe that data security is a myth in China — the authorities can read any message it wants to.

The study says that the app collects and sends detailed log reports on a daily basis, containing a wealth of user data and app activity. The authorities, however, have dismissed such claims.

Not downloading the app is neither an option, as the Communist Party has issued orders to its members mandating its downloads. Many workplaces, too, have made it mandatory to download the app. Journalists in China will have to take a test on their knowledge of Xi Jinping through this app. Only those who clear the test will get new press cards.