Guangdong police have detained more than 21,000 individuals involved in data theft and seized more than 730 million pieces of stolen personal data during special campaigns in the previous year. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]
A senior police officer has vowed to further intensify efforts to fight against personal data theft to ensure a good and sound internet space for residents and online users in the months ahead.
Sun Taiping, deputy director general of the Guangdong Provincial Department of Public Security, said personal data theft poses a serious threat to residents and internet users, so police across the southern province, the window of China's reform and opening up, should spare no effort in fighting against any illegal event that is a serious offense in the mainland.
"Meanwhile residents should also further raise their awareness to prevent their personal data from being stolen and used by lawbreakers to commit crimes," Sun said.
Sun made his remarks at a press conference in Guangdong's provincial capital on Thursday. Provincial police noted they have detained 7,460 suspects after working on more than 730 cases involving online theft and illegal sales of personal data in a special campaign during the first eight months of the year.
Meanwhile, police seized more than 400 million pieces of stolen personal data during the campaign, code named Operation Anwang, or Safe Internet, 2019.
A number of criminal gangs that used to be active in stealing and selling personal data for major profit have been busted in the province, one of the country's economic powerhouses, according to Sun.
A large number of computers, mobile phones, identity cards and bank cards were seized during the Anwang operation, which was launched at the beginning of the year.
In Guangzhou, police detained 201 suspects, including three gang heads, after busting a criminal operation that mainly stole and illegally sold personal data in April.
The gang was investigated and found to have defrauded large sums of money after establishing more than 300 shell companies with the stolen data, to defraud a large number of residents in the mainland.
The Anwang operation led to a heavy blow against crime, but police will not relax their vigilance in the fight against personal data theft, Sun said.
"Police will continue to redouble efforts to fight against such crimes in the following months," he added.