After revelations that personal data of food delivery app users is readily available for sale through several channels for as little as RMB 0.10 per person, food delivery giants Meituan-Dianping and Ele.me have responded to the public.
An investigation into the data heist by local media uncovered that a startling amount of personal information was available for purchase. This included names, phone numbers, and address of thousands of orderers per day, including for orders going to hospitals and even to specific seats in internet cafes. The data was being sold through social platform QQ.
Meituan-Dianping announced yesterday that it has reported the case to the police adding that it attaches great importance to reselling user information, The Beijing News has reported.
According to their statement, the reason behind the leak is the company’s long chain of delivery and distribution which includes the platform, merchants, and third-party delivery companies. This opens many ways for lawbreakers to steal data. Meituan-Dianping also said that they have established a safety committee.
Ele.me said it was investigating the leak and that they consider themselves a victim along with their users. The company, which was recently bought by Alibaba, has promised to find the black sheep with the help of relevant government departments and join efforts from friends in the industry. Ele.me said it has a team of 200 people responsible for data security for businesses and individual users.
This just another incident in a string of online data theft scandals in China. A report by the Internet Society of China found that nearly 80% of web users had had their personal information leaked.
The QQ group involved in the sale of takeaway information has not yet been closed.