Yesterday, a Twitter account called "State ID" in Chinese went live and began tweeting what it claims are the state ID numbers linked to wealthy, famous people in China.
State IDs of rich, powerful people have been leaked
In China, a state ID is one's identity. It is used for literally everything - very much like social security numbers are used in the US.
Some of the posts made on the account included addresses, additional ID information, and state ID card photos.
Some of the people whose information was released by the account include Alibaba founder Jack Ma, China’s richest man Wang Jianlin and his wife Lin Ning and son Wang Sicong (a prominent games industry investor), businessman Guo Wengui and his family, Great Firewall architect Fang Binxing, famed nationalist commentator Sima Nan, Beijing’s biggest real estate developer Pan Shiyi, and Global Times editor Hu Xijin.
According to Tech In Asia, there is no way to confirm if the numbers are indeed accurate. The Twitter user who shared these pieces of information gave only one clue as to his/her intentions: "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, a state ID is one's identity. It is used for literally everything - very much like social security numbers are used in the US - and it is not something you would just want to give away because if it gets into the wrong hands, it could have dire consequences.
ID details are used for everything from setting up online accounts to booking hotels to confirming ones identity for bank transfers.
The Twitter account has since been suspended but there is no telling what damage this leak could have done or the ramifications it will have for the safety of citizens data in China.
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