A Twitter account has released the personal information or state ID, like social security number and home address, of China’s rich and powerful — including of Alibaba founder Jack Ma and China’s richest man Wang Jianlin. Information published by an account @shenfenzheng – meaning “personal identification” in Chinese – also revealed sensitive data like national identification number, birth date, educational attainment and marital status of wealthy people, The Verge reports.
Besides Jack Ma, the personal data of China’s richest man Wang Jianlin, his wife Lin Ning and son Wang Sicong; businessman Guo Wengui and his family; Great Firewall architect Fang Binxing; nationalist commentator Sima Nan; Beijing’s biggest real estate developer Pan Shiyi; and Global Times editor Hu Xijin are among those whose information has apparently been leaked.
Meanwhile, the user who tweeted the information responded to a tweet by Isaac Stone Fish, Asia editor of Foreign Policy – a magazine of global politics, economics and ideas: “Are you surprised by this information? I hope this will make my countrymen think about how worthless their personal privacy is, so that even the whereabouts of the rich and famous can be easily monitored.”
In China, the state ID number is a person’s identity. It is used for everything, from setting up online accounts to booking hotels to confirming identities for bank transfers, and having it fall into the wrong hands would make identity theft quite easy. The under-scanner Twitter account has been suspended.