50 busted in Shanghai for stealing and selling personal info (updated)

Zha Minjie reports:

Shanghai police said today that they have bust a criminal ring that sold personal information to businesses for illegal gains.

Police detained 50 suspects and found nearly 200 million pieces of personal information, such as cellphone numbers and home addresses, in their computers.

One suspect surnamed Zhang took advantage of his assignment to create and maintain the birth database of the Shanghai Health Bureau and stole the information of newborn babies. Police said Zhang sold the information for 30,000 yuan.

Some suspects are employees of insurance companies, police said.

Shanghai police also said they arrested another gang who stole personal information via the Internet and used stolen credit card codes for online transactions worth more than 2 million yuan

Source: Shanghai Daily.

I wish they explained what the newborns’ info was used for. Was it marketing or ID theft or…?

Update:  It appears that the answer to my question is “marketing,” and that this arrest is related to previously identified problems.  Global Times reports:

Local police have arrested a computer database manager accused of stealing more than 140,000 pieces of personal information about newborn babies and their parents from a Shanghai Municipal Health Bureau database, police announced at a press conference Wednesday.

The suspect, surnamed Zhang, 30 years old, earned 30,000 yuan ($4,727) selling the information while he worked as technical manager for a company that maintained the health bureau’s database, according to Yu Song, vice captain of the Zhabei district police’s economic crime department.

From the beginning of 2011 until April 2012, Zhang accessed the database twice a month from his home computer, downloading the information that then sold to a manager at Shanghai Roadway D&B Marketing Services Co, the Shanghai subsidiary of the US commercial information firm Dun & Bradstreet Corp.

The local company was shut down in March on charges of illegally trading personal information received from various sources. Police have arrested another 47 suspects who sold stolen personal information to the firm.

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