Qihoo 360, a China-based antivirus software company, has been accused of collecting users' personal information. Was this the company's fault, or is someone outside responsible?
There is currently a war of words between Qihoo 360 and Fang Zhou, a well-known anti-counterfeiting expert in China. Fang accused Qihoo 360 collecting users private information through its antivirus software. In China, users are concerned about their own privacy online and some are considering other security products. Qihoo 360's stock has taken a slight drop since the "Fang Zhou Wars" started in October, but not nearly enough to cause serious worry.
A spokesperson of the Ministry of Industry and Communication Development Division says that Qihoo 360 will launch an investigation into the alleged security failures, and that the company takes the matter very seriously. Shi Wenchang, a professor of information security at Renmin University, said that, if such a breach of privacy occurred, it was most likely a malicious theft of an outside hacker, never the intent of Qihoo 360.
Expert members of the Policy and Resources Committee of the Internet Society of China have noted that, as technology advances, it becomes more and more difficult for the government to regulate Internet companies and monitor security. As investigations continue, internet users should remember to avoid suspicious websites and keep their private information secure.