Sat, Nov 24, 2007 - Page 2 News List

Personal data leaked over Internet

By Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Taipei City Government admitted yesterday that personal information relating to former Taipei City mayor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and some city councilors had been leaked over the Internet. The government said the information included addresses and ID numbers, and they promised to examine the city government's Web pages to ensure no further information was leaked.

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Taipei City Councilors Lee Chien-chang (李建昌) and Huang Hsiang-chun (黃向群) yesterday condemned Taipei City's Department of Civil Affairs and the Department of Information Technology for posting detailed personal records of mayoral and city councilor candidates on the city government's Web page during the 2002 elections.

Doing so increased the threat of identity fraud and violated the Computer-Processed Personal Data Protection Law, they said.

"The leak of personal records shows that the city government was totally ignorant of information safety. How could the citizens protect their own rights if the city government leaked the personal information that it had?" Lee said yesterday at the Taipei City Council.

Lee also cited a recent incident in the UK where the government lost the personal records of 25 million individuals, including their dates of birth, addresses, bank account numbers and national insurance numbers.

Lee demanded that the city government pay more attention to the management and protection of the municipal information database.

Jason Yeh (葉傑生), the deputy civil affairs commissioner, and Feng Cheng-si (馮鎮西), chief secretary of the information office, apologized for the negligence and said the city government would check all of the departments' Web pages to see if there were other record leaks.

"As the Internet was not so advanced at that time, we did fail to place enough emphasis on the protection of personal records," Yeh said.

Feng said the office had already removed the records from its Web page on Thursday and demanded that all municipal agencies immediately examine their Web pages and stored personal records.

The office will finish all inspections by the end of next month to ensure that this kind of incident will not happen again, Feng said.

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