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November 22, 2012

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Gang made 2m yuan hawking personal data

A GANG accused of trading citizens' personal information to earn more than 2 million yuan (US$320,868) has been busted in the largest case of such illegal personal information trafficking investigated by Shanghai police.

Police said yesterday that 11 suspects have been detained. The illegal trade involved more than 1 billion pieces of personal information such as cell phone numbers and addresses, police said.

Those whose information was sold are from across China, police said.

The leak surfaced as police probed an illegal gold business in suburban Fengxian District in June. Those suspects told police they gained access to customers' information via online chat rooms.

Using Internet records and bank cards, police found the gang that was selling the information.

The gang was nabbed in mid-October in a remote area in southwest China's Guizhou Province where they set up their base, police said.

The suspects were detained and moved to Shanghai, though formal charges have not yet been filed.

Police said the information was gleaned from homeowners, car owners and even delivery orders. The gang developed a network in online chat rooms and been selling information since April.


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