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Shanghai Police Investigate Database Of More Than 150 Million

Personal information contained in huge database may have been obtained illegally, Roadway, D&B

A direct marketing firm in Shanghai is under investigation for illegally collecting the private information of more than 150 million Chinese citizens.

According to a news report, 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 raided the company's headquarters after watching the broadcast. Authorities took custody of three senior executives and four of the company's servers, the report states.

Roadway D&B was holding a database of more than 150 million people, including name, gender, age, address, phone number, job, monthly income, and even the kind of car the person owns, according to the report.

The company mainly worked with clients for cold calling and sending emails to targeted groups of people in its database for product promotions. Roadway D&B sold each individual's information for 1.5 yuan (23 U.S. cents) to other companies, according to the report.

"By taking a glance at the database, we know whether he has purchased any insurance, how much money he has in the bank, how much he has earned and how much he has spent," a Roadway D&B employee said.

Dun and Bradstreet, which owns D&B Roadway, issued a press release saying that it has suspended the company's operations, "pending an investigation into allegations that its data collection practices may violate local Chinese consumer data privacy laws."

In addition, D&B said it 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 the allegations to the U.S. Department of Justice and the SEC.

Have a comment on this story? Please click "Comment" below. If you'd like to contact Dark Reading's editors directly, send us a message. Tim Wilson is Editor in Chief and co-founder of Dark Reading.com, UBM Tech's online community for information security professionals. He is responsible for managing the site, assigning and editing content, and writing breaking news stories. Wilson has been recognized as one ... View Full Bio

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jries921
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jries921,
User Rank: Ninja
3/21/2012 | 1:59:25 PM
re: Shanghai Police Investigate Database Of More Than 150 Million
The broadcast was made on "Consumer Rights Day"?- Any chance this is a PR move by the Chinese government, rather than good-faith police work?
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