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China passes sweeping data privacy law, to go into effect Nov. 1

The law reportedly will make it harder for tech companies to collect and use personal information.

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Angela Lang/CNET

Chinese lawmakers passed new data privacy legislation Friday that places restrictions on how personal information can be collected and used, according to state-run news agency Xinhua. The personal data law, reportedly one of the toughest in the world, goes into effect Nov. 1. 

The law could make it significantly harder for tech companies to access and use the information of consumers in China, according to the South China Morning Post. It'll reportedly let people turn off targeted advertising and give them a way to reject "excessive data collection."

The law also requires companies to obtain individual consent when processing sensitive personal information such as biometrics, medical data, financial accounts and location, according to Xinhua. 

Earlier this week, Chinese officials said they found that dozens of smartphone apps, including popular app WeChat, improperly transferred people's contact and location data, according to the Morning Post. WeChat was among several Chinese apps that faced scrutiny in the US under the Trump administration over potential national security concerns. Earlier this year, President Joe Biden revoked some of the previous administration's orders against TikTok and WeChat, instead calling for the Commerce Department to regularly evaluate apps linked with foreign adversaries like China. 

See also: Why your iPhone may never be Made in America