20 Apple employees are alleged to be involved in a Chinese data laundering scam, using company computers to export Apple IDs, names and other data, Agence France-Presse reports. It is not clear at this point if foreign accounts are affected.
Zhejiang province law enforcement uncovered the scheme which spread across Guangdong (containing the city of Shenzhen), Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Fujian and was valued at ¥50 million or $7.36 million.
The black market for personal data is all-encompassing and cheap in China. Customers can pay as little as ¥10 ($1.50) for a piece of information and as little as ¥700 ($100) for a complete profile of a person’s recent financial transactions such as property purchases and travel arrangements.
And yet, consumers trust internet-connected services providers to store copious amounts of data in order to provide services such as taxi reservations, food reservations, tap-to-pay purchases and more. Not so much elsewhere, though: US-based phone seller BLU was recently criticized for using firmware that sent information to software vendor Shanghai Adups.