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April 12, 2014

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Tech firm officials charged for data leak

SENIOR officials of an Internet company were charged with leaking information of over 100,000 students to local training schools, the Zhabei District court heard yesterday.

Yang Ye, deputy director general of Beijing-based technology company, Xipu Wuyou, was accused of selling the names and mobile phone numbers of some 70,000 students, who had applied for the national online education exam, to training schools between October 2012 and July 2013.

Dou Tianhua, the technology director at the same company, also allegedly sold data of 50,000 others.

The company is an Internet service provider for the organizers of the national online education exam and has access to all the information of students sitting for the exam, according to the prosecutors.

The company is also involved in CET-4 and CET-6 — the nation’s College English Test.

Many students sitting for the exam received short messages from a training institute last August shortly after they filled in the application forms.

“We make sure you achieve 100 percent success in the exam, otherwise we will refund your fees,” the message said.

Police traced the message to Shanghai Yida Education and then caught up with another information company and the Beijing-based technology company.

Yang passed all personal details of the students to the information company who then sent out messages to lure them to the Yida Education School with tuitions of about 2,500 yuan (US$402.48) per person.

The training school then transferred the students to another institute, which was run by Yang. The profits were split between them, Zhabei District police said.

Dou also cooperated with other companies and schools.

Officials from the information company and training schools were also sued yesterday.

“It is more effective to attract students by getting their information after they apply,” one of the defendants told the court.

Government bodies, or employees of finance, communication, educational institutes and hospitals face three years in jail term and fines for selling or illegally releasing personal information to others.


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