Homeplus CEO indicted for selling customers` data to insurers [2015/02/11 10:16]

The prosecution on Sunday indicted Homeplus and its CEO Do Sung-hwan without detention on charges of raking in illicit profits worth 23.1 billion won ($21 million) by selling customers` private data to insurance companies. Five more incumbent and former executives have also been subject to the coming court trials for their implication in the business irregularity.

The supermarket chain was found to have handed over about 24 million entries of personal information to a variety of insurance firms, according to investigators. The retail giant collected a large portion of the customers` data by holding a series of giveaways, in which entrants registered for the events by filling in their names, phone numbers, birthdates, and the ID numbers of their immediate families, including parents and children.

“Subscribers who did not fill out the requirements were excluded from the list of winning the lots,” an investigator said. “Homeplus was also found to have not called some lottery winners who were due to receive diamond prizes.” The investigator said the giveaway events were exploited as a bait for collecting private information to pass on without customers realizing.

As an example, Homeplus earned more than 10 billion won by attracting consumers to participate in events to win pricey gifts such as BMW and Mercedes-Benz luxury cars between October 2010 and July 2014.

According to some opposition lawmakers, the company allegedly buried the relevant clauses in a long list of terms and conditions, and asked them fill out their private information online, which was then sent to some 50 companies, mostly in the financial sector, including Shinhan Life Insurance, LINA Korea, KB Kookmin Bank, Samsung Card and SK Telecom.
출처: 헤럴드미디어 영자신문 코리아헤럴드 (www.koreaherald.com)