HCM CITY — The information security department under the Ministry of Public Security has discovered that a number of websites have illegally sold personal information of more than 50,000 people nationwide.
The Department of Information and Communication Security said the information was about businesspeople, gold purchasers, real-estate customers, luxury-car customers, high-standard health-service users and mobile-phone subscribers.
The department is investigating the activities of Duong Hong Le, 28, Le Minh Trung, 29, and Hua Van Tuan, 26, for their illegal online business. All three men have been residing temporarily in HCM City.
Since October 2010, Le has operated the website www.danhsachkhachhang.com (customer list) since October 2010, and has made a profit of VND21 million (US$1,000) from selling personal information illegally.
He admitted to the department police that he bought the list from Trung and Tuan.
Trung set up the website www.timkhachhang.com (looking for customers' names) in 2007, and has 230 lists divided into categories basedon economic sectors that have a profit of at least VND 200 million (US$10,000).
Tuan has two websites at www.datavip.com and www.datavip.net (data of VIPs), which has made a profit of VND 20 million from selling information. Trung and Tuan told police they got the information while they worked for stock-market and tourism companies. They also gathered information from the internet.
The department said the three men violated Vietnamese criminal laws on selling personal information.
However, the violators will be sent to HCM City's Department of Information and Communication for administrative penalties only because serious consequences to individuals had not yet occurred and the men all admitted that they had illegally obtained the data, according to the Public Security Ministry.
Access to the www.danhsachkhachhang.com website was suspended, while the three other websites were still online yesterday. — VNS