Alibaba’s payments affiliate apologises for opting in users for credit scoring system
Thursday, January 4, 2018
Ant Financial has apologised for making the opt-in to its social credit scoring service the default when users opened a new report in the app, a move that angered some people who felt the company was misleading them into handing over their data.
The incident comes as Chinese users grow increasingly concerned about user privacy and how China’s tech giants are handling personal information. In China, laws require companies to store users’ data on servers in the country, and Chinese tech companies reportedly pass on data when the Chinese government makes a request.
Ant Financial, the financial arm of Alibaba Group, on Wednesday launched its Alipay Annual User Footprint Report within its Alipay mobile wallet app, allowing users to look up how often they had used Alipay over the last year and for what purposes.
However, the landing page of the report had a box that was checked by default, consenting to the “Zhima Credit Service Agreement” that is required to use Ant Financial’s third-party credit scoring system. Users who did not notice the checked box would have agreed by default to opt into the Zhima Credit scoring service, known as Sesame Credit outside China.
Photo courtesy of uditha wickramanayaka.