Chen Qian has a story on Shanghai Daily about the sale of personal information there that suggests a widespread problem because there doesn’t seem to be any law prohibiting the sale of information. It’s not clear from the story, however, whether the personal details include data more sensitive than name, address, landline and cell phone numbers, or information that might be in publicly available records here:
Personal details of local residents, almost 100 percent accurate, is being sold online, bringing with it an onslaught of unwanted text messages and phone calls, a local newspaper found after several days investigation.
The “information sellers” claim they can get the most updated personal information from property management companies, banks, telecommunication companies and even shopping malls, Shanghai Morning Post reported today.
Real estate agencies, finance companies and insurance salespeople will buy such information, a seller who claims to have detailed information on 1.7 million residents told the newspaper.
The man, surnamed Zhang, showed the paper his database on his laptop yesterday. Every entry contains regular telephone numbers, cell phone numbers and addresses of home owners around the city. He sold all this information for 6,000 yuan (US$880).
There’s no penalty for selling information, the report said. Legal experts urged for a law to protect people’s personal information.
Ding Guanghong, a member of the Standing Committee of Shanghai Party Committee, has suggested personal information protection early this year.