China / Society

Personal info of 2 mln Beijing citizens leaked and sold

(ECNS) Updated: 2015-02-28 08:47

The personal data of two million students and their parents has been leaked and sold for targeted marketing by tutoring and training agencies in Beijing, The Mirror reported on Thursday.

The information pertains to schools and grades and includes the names and contact details of both students and their parents.

After being sold on to training schools via classified sites such as and, the data is used to send messages about training and recruitment to targeted students etc.

By January 2015, six people working in the training and development industry were accused of illegally obtaining and selling individual personal information.

One defendant claimed that the enrollment rate at his training agency rose by 25 percent after sending direct messages to a targeted group.

Bai Lei, from the Haidian procuratorate in Beijing, stated that anyone who illegally obtains, sells or offers personal data to others would be fined or sentenced to up to three years in prison.

It was also suggested that the direct reason for these cases is that parents, in general, attach great importance to their children's education, creating a huge market for the tutoring industry.

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