Representative image Image credits: ANI
The German domestic intelligence agency warns consumers that personal information that they provide to Chinese payment or other technology companies could get into the hands of the Chinese government. In the annual report released Thursday, the BfV agency noted that Chinese government agencies have access to data stored in China by companies such as Tencent, Alibaba “and other apps, web services and mobility providers such as (bicycle sharing) providers” who actively are in Germany.
The head of the BfV, Thomas Haldenwang, said that the German data is not safe with Chinese companies because they are required by law to provide the data to their government. “Any customer here in Germany using such a system shouldn’t be surprised if this data is misused in Beijing,” he told reporters. “We can only warn against this.” Germany’s top security officer also expressed concern about what he called the “hybrid threat” from China, including the purchase of key German companies.
“When it comes to critical infrastructure, in energy supply or now with 5G lines, we need to consider how we can protect ourselves,” said Horst Seehofer, Germany’s interior minister. Seehofer added that Germany has not yet made a “political decision” as to whether the Chinese telecommunications company Huawei should supply infrastructure to German mobile phone providers.