Apple employees caught selling user data in underground Chinese racket

A statement from Chinese authorities has revealed that 22 people have been detained in relation to breaches of individuals’ private information. The personal data was allegedly sold in a massive scam worth over 50 million yuan (over $7 million or almost £6 million).

Of the 22 arrested, 20 were employed by Apple and apparently exploited the company’s internal network to secure and sell the sensitive data. This information included names, Apple IDs, phone numbers and more and would sell for anywhere between 10 to 180 yuan (around $2 - $25) a piece.

This particular type of illegal trade is commonplace in China, where personal user information can be purchased without having to jump through too many hoops. An investigation by the Chinese newspaper, the Southern Metropolis Daily discovered this when a reporter purchased some sensitive information on a colleague, including current address and the cafes he’d recently visited.

The investigation lasted for months and involved local police from over four Chinese provinces, including Zhejiang, Fujian, Jiangsu and Guangdong, however It is not clear at this stage whether the users affected were local Chinese residents or if international customers are compromised.