Zhima Credit apologizes for its annual report’s ‘mistake’
By Wang Xueying
Zhima Credit, a credit scoring system developed by Alibaba’s Ant Financial, apologized for adding an inconspicuous opt-in to its credit scoring service on Thursday.
Ant Financial launched the 2017 Annual User Footprint Report in its Alipay mobile wallet app recently, which displays a summary of a customer’s usage of Alipay products and services for 2017. When users read the report, they could look up how and why they spent money with the Alipay wallet app and how often they used the app in 2017.
Ant Financial has already corrected the "mistake"./CGTN Photo 

Ant Financial has already corrected the "mistake"./CGTN Photo 

However, the landing page of the report included a checked box by default, allowing users to sign the “Zhima Credit Service Agreement”. If users failed to notice the box, they would agree by default to accredit Ant Financial’s credit scoring services.
Some analysts believe that Ant Financial intentionally misled users and expanded their credit scoring service unjustifiably. 
“It (Zhima Credit) has the duty to make the box very clear for users to notice what kind of agreements they will consent to,” said Yue Shenshan, a legal expert from Beijing Yuecheng Law Firm. He is the first one who pointed out the privacy concerns in the annual report.  
 Chinese users grow increasingly concerned about online user privacy./VCG Photo  

 Chinese users grow increasingly concerned about online user privacy./VCG Photo  

According to the latest statement released by Ant Financial, the box “was erroneously ‘checked’ by default. 
“We only collect data that is necessary to provide the relevant products and services to our users. The collection, storage, usage and transferal of all user data is based on user consent and we strictly follow regulatory requirements,” said the company in the statement.
“Zhima Users who had previously checked the box and wish to cancel the authorization for Alipay to display their Zhima Credit score can go into Alipay’s settings and turn off the display of Zhima Credit footprint in their Annual Alipay User Footprint Report,” it added.