Chinese regulator moves to allow internet users to switch off algorithms
China steps up effort to protect personal data. /CFP

China steps up effort to protect personal data. /CFP

Users should be allowed to conveniently switch off algorithms that recommend internet content to them, China's cyberspace regulator said in a draft guideline on Friday.

Algorithm recommendation service providers should also allow users to select or modify their individual tags used for recommending services, the Cyberspace Administration of China said in the guideline.

The draft is open for public feedback until September 26.

Internet platforms like the shopping site Taobao or social media site TikTok employ machine learning tools to filter content and recommend the most relevant items to a particular user. The model has stirred user complaints about data privacy and security breaches.

China passed the Personal Information Protection Law last week to further regulate cyberspace. The law will come into force on November 1, serving as the first on the Chinese mainland solely dedicated to personal data protection.

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