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March 29, 2011

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Bank details on the web

CHINA'S biggest search engine, Baidu, removed files containing the personal details of thousands of locals from its document-sharing platform yesterday, following public outcry over the breach of privacy.

But although those files were deleted, people's personal information can easily be found on the Internet.

Shanghai Daily has discovered similar documents online, including a local list of customers with a domestic bank said to have savings of more than 5 million yuan (US$762,020). The 25-page file, published by a netizen identified as "kim_n1982," details people's names, ID numbers, addresses and cell phone numbers.

The file, along with a similar document concerning another bank, was deleted late yesterday.

Ying Wenqi, a local resident called at random from the list, was annoyed to hear his details were online. He asked: "Who put my information on the Internet? Can I sue Baidu?"

"It seems that I have no way of dealing with this," Ying said, adding that he didn't have that amount of savings.

An official surnamed Ma with the bank involved said most of the information was incorrect and had not been leaked from the bank.

"We are calling all the numbers on the list as it should not have happened," said Ma.

Baidu deletes documents that breach privacy if they receive complaints, said Zhang Jingyi, a media official with the company.

Wu Dong, a local lawyer, said personal details should not be made public, but admitted that it may be difficult to prove in court that this had serious consequences.


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