Sesame Credit, a credit-scoring system operated by Alibaba's subsidiary Ant Financial, apologized on Wednesday night for its alleged privacy violation of users' annual Alipay e-bills.
On Wednesday, Alibaba's third-party payment platform Alipay released annual bills for its users. But before users checked their e-bills, the box next to a line of words that read "I agree to the Sesame service agreement" in small font was automatically ticked.
It was wrong for Sesame Credit to set the service agreement to automatic, the system said in a statement posted on its official Weibo account.
Sesame Credit later canceled the automatic feature of the agreement on the e-bill page and showed users how to remove the authorization on the platform.
More than 10 users the Global Times talked to on Thursday said that they did not notice the words because they were too small to be noticed.
"Actually, if users don't agree to the service's terms and conditions, they can still view their bill. But the tricky thing is, most users cannot see the words because they are in such small font," a user surnamed Chen told the Global Times on Thursday.
As a result, users "authorized Sesame Credit to collect their information without knowing," he said.
After users approved the Sesame service agreement, it allowed Alipay to provide users' credit information to other third parties. Also, ticking the agreement acts as an authorization for Alipay to analyze user information and then share it with its cooperation institutions, according to the Sesame service agreement.
Many users are now left with concerns over the safety and privacy of their information, which are also of significance to Sesame Credit, the platform said, adding that it will now strictly comply with relative rules and laws to collect, use and share user information only on the condition that users are well informed in such situations.