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Chinese mobile game shows why taking player privacy seriously matters

A game developed for the recently IPO'ed Chinese internet giant Alibaba's Laiwang chat and game distribution service recently shared players' videos -- ones those users thought were private.
User privacy is a serious issue -- as a recent controversy surrounding Chinese mobile game Fengkuang Laiwang illustrates, as the South China Morning Post reports. Fengkuang Laiwang is based on the traditional party game of charades, and it records videos of players so their partners can guess what they're mimicking. The problem: The videos were uploaded to a public account on video-sharing website Youku.com -- without alerting players, many of whom were clearly expecting markedly more private play sessions, based on their (lack of) attire. The game was developed for recently IPO'ed Chinese internet giant Alibaba's Laiwang chat service -- a competitor to Tencent's WeChat, and a major reason that Alibaba recently invested in San Francisco mobile developer Kabam. The story shows the peril of not thoughtfully handling all forms of player data your game may scrape and upload to servers. The South China Morning Post reports that public release of the video also violated Chinese privacy laws -- laws which are weaker than those in the West.

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