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December 24, 2013

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Gang selling personal information busted

A 10-MEMBER gang were caught in Beijing and Shanghai for illegally obtaining and selling personal information, with local police saying it had seized data belonging to nearly 1 million people. The gang made over 320,000 yuan (US$52,704) from the illegal dealings.

In mid-August this year, a woman filed a complaint claiming her personal information was leaked after she applied online for an exam and soon started getting spam messages relating to training classes of the same subject as the exam, prompting Zhabei District police to investigate online message platforms.

Police targeted an education information consultation company as the source for the  spam messages and caught the boss in the Pudong New Area. The owner said he had bought the personal information from an unemployed local resident, surnamed Xu, who was caught in the same district on August 22.

Xu, on his part, said he got all the information from a man surnamed Yang, who was responsible for maintaining a national examination application website.

Yang sold the data to Xu, who then resold them to the education company owner and a few others, including Shao and Liao, the owners of another education company and a culture communication company.

Xu made 120,000 yuan in profits from the illegal sales.

Yang, the administrative director of a Beijing-based education and technology company, was arrested along with two other customers.

Police said nearly 1 million data of personal information were traded, from which Yang earned about 200,000 yuan.

In October, police in the Pudong New Area tracked down people involved in selling 1 billion personal information.

The personal data was sold for over 35,000 yuan and used for promoting equity, real estate and marketing.

The chief culprit, a 31-year-old man surnamed Long, bought a portable hard disk containing personal information from an online store and then built an overseas website to sell the information.

Long and three of his accomplices were arrested while two others are out on bail.

Elsewhere, Qingpu police shut down a website which sold over 200,000 personal information details of people who placed  delivery orders after a gang of seven were busted. 



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