Police look into firm’s database of private info…. on 150 million! (updated)

We saw reports on some huge data breaches out of China last summer.  Some of them, we learned, were not necessarily hacks but employees leaking data.  Here’s another report of people allegedly behaving very badly. Xu Chi reports:

Shanghai police are investigating a local company that reportedly illegally collected private information of more than 150 million residents that they sell to clients for cold calling and other product promotions.

Shanghai-based Roadway D&B Co caught police and public attention after a video clip filmed by undercover reporters was broadcast nationwide in a news program on Thursday, China’s Consumer Rights Day.

Shanghai police said yesterday that they raided the company’s headquarters on Beijing Road E. after watching the broadcast.

Three senior executives with the company are now under police control.

Officers also confiscated four of the company’s servers for evidence.

The company, which has eight branch offices across the country, was found by undercover reporters to be holding the private information of more than 150 million residents in China, according to the program broadcast by China Central Television.

The information includes name, gender, age, address, phone number, job, monthly income and even the kind of car the person owns.

Read more on ShanghaiDaily.com.

Image credit: Stuart Miles

Update:  Dun & Bradstreet issued a press release on Mar. 18 concerning this investigation:

D&B Reports on Investigation Related to China Operations

SHORT HILLS, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– D&B (NYSE: DNB), the world’s leading source of commercial information and insight on businesses, announced today that it has temporarily suspended its Shanghai Roadway D&B Marketing Services Co Ltd. operations in China, pending an investigation into allegations that its data collection practices may violate local Chinese consumer data privacy laws. D&B acquired Roadway’s operations in 2009, and for 2011 Roadway accounted for approximately$23 million in revenue and $2 million in operating income.

In addition, D&B has been reviewing certain allegations that local employees may have violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and certain other laws in our China operations. D&B is cooperating with the local Chinese investigation, and has voluntarily reported these matters to the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

D&B will continue to actively pursue these investigations until the matter is satisfactorily resolved.

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