Chinese tech giant Baidu Inc is being sued by a consumer-protection organization, which claims that it has collected users’ personal information without permission, according to Caixin. The suit is the latest in a string of data-protection scandals to hit China’s largest technology firms in recent weeks.
The Jiangsu Consumer Council, a government-backed consumer rights association, alleges that two of Baidu’s mobile apps, a search engine and web browser, could access users’ calls, location data, messages and contacts without their consent. Baidu responded in a statement on its social media account on Monday, which claimed that its apps “do not have the capability of monitoring phone calls and will never do.”
The consumer group filed the case against Baidu in December, and a court in Nanjing, the capital city of Jiangsu province, accepted the lawsuit on January 2.