Chinese authorities say they have uncovered a massive underground operation run by Apple employees selling computer and phone users’ personal data.

Twenty-two people have been detained on suspicion of infringing individuals’ privacy and illegally obtaining their digital personal information, according to a statement Wednesday from local police in eastern Zhejiang Province.

Of the 22 suspects, 20 were Apple employees who allegedly used the company’s internal computer system to gather users’ names, phone numbers, Apple IDs, and other data, which they sold as part of a scam worth more than 50 million yuan (US$7.36 million).

The 20 people, who worked for Apple’s local direct sales companies or subcontractors, and two other people were arrested May 3 in a police operation led by the public security bureau of Cangnan County in East China’s Wenzhou City, according to Xinhua.

It has not yet been revealed if the stolen data was from users solely based in China, or if international customers were also impacted.

Following months of investigation, the statement said, police across more than four provinces — Guangdong, Zhejiang, Jiangsu and Fujian — apprehended the suspects last week, seizing their “criminal tools” and dismantling their online network.

The police say the suspects used their access to Apple’s internal platform to obtain iPhone users’ phone numbers, names, Apple IDs and other information, and then sold them for prices ranging from 10 to 180 yuan each.

The police first learned about the criminal gang in January. The case is under further investigation. Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In December, an investigation by the Southern Metropolis Daily newspaper exposed a black market for private data gathered from police and government databases.

Reporters successfully obtained a trove of material on one colleague — including flight history, hotel checkouts and property holdings — in exchange for a payment of 700 yuan.

This is not the first case of Apple employees being caught in a privacy scandal. Last year, four staffers in Australia were fired after being accused of sharing nude images from customers’ phones and rating them out of 10.

Apple later claimed it found “no evidence” photos were inappropriately transferred. Source: ShenzhenDaily

https://i0.wp.com/gizbrain.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/apple-china.jpg?fit=1200%2C769https://i0.wp.com/gizbrain.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/apple-china.jpg?fit=190%2C150Linda MorrisAPPLETECH NEWSApple,China,iPhone,securityChinese authorities say they have uncovered a massive underground operation run by Apple employees selling computer and phone users’ personal data. Twenty-two people have been detained on suspicion of infringing individuals’ privacy and illegally obtaining their digital personal information, according to a statement Wednesday from local police in eastern Zhejiang...