Chinese tech company respond as private information of stars leaked and illegally sold

By Chen Xi Source: Global Times Published: 2020/12/28 19:39:33

File photo: VCG

The Chinese company responsible for developing the digital health kit code replied on Monday that the issue is under investigation after many Chinese celebrities' profile pictures were leaked from their platform and illegally sold.

According to reports, the tastelessly named 'health kit sale service' listed more than 70 illegally leaked photos for 2yuan ($0.31), or 1 yuan for more than 1,000 artists' ID numbers.

Health Kit is an open platform targeted at people's fitness and health, which can be searched in China's WeChat and Alipay. It can show if the person is healthy and safe and if they have been to a high-risk area of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A reporter of Myzaker, a Chinese news media outlet, found that people can see the celebrities' profile photos by entering the celebrity's name and ID number on the Health Kit page without needing the stars to re-identify their face. 

At the same time, if the person being searched has undergone a nucleic acid test, the results of the person's nucleic acid test, the testing organization, and the testing time can also be obtained through this method.

It is reported that the service has been spread among circles of fans, as some star-crazed fans would offer to purchase the photos. 

Zhang Qihuai, an attorney from the Beijing Lanpeng Law Firm, told the Global Times on Monday that this kind of behavior, using a loophole to sell private information, is a crime.

According to Zhang, those who sell or provide citizens' personal information to others in serious circumstances shall be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of not more than three years or criminal detention with a fine; where the circumstances are particularly serious, they shall be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of not less than three years but not more than seven years and fined.

He pointed that the company needs to fix the bug soon, as the health kit has been widely used among Chinese residents, and this bug might cause more innocent people to have their legal rights infringed upon.

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