Suspects charged with selling private data online

Ke Jiayun
Four individuals have been charged for information infringement after opening a website which sold access to sensitive personal records, say prosecutors.
Ke Jiayun

A group of four who opened a website containing large amounts of citizens' private data, and allowed users to access it for a fee, has been charged by the Jiading District People's Procuratorate, prosecutors said on Thursday.

This is the city's first personal information infringement case in which suspects established a website and charged users to access private information.

The website's users accessed more than 220,000 pieces of private information and illegally profited over 400,000 yuan (US$56,932) from it, according to prosecutors.

The gang's leader, surnamed Zhang, was a real estate agent in 2017 and learned that realtors have a great demand for property owners' private data, say prosecutors.

He then paid 90,000 yuan to buy more than 8.2 million pieces of information related to properties and home owners in different districts, say prosecutors.

He later hired a computer technician, surnamed Shu, for 18,000 yuan to make a website containing the information he bought, according to the court.

He asked Shu to create a payment system for users to access the information, say prosecutors.

In March last year, the website opened to the public and Zhang employed another two people to manage it.

The trio rented a house in Jiading District as their office and allegedly promoted their website to local real estate agents via WeChat and other channels.

Some 680 people had allegedly registered as users of the website.

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