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Buyer allegedly sold stolen Benesse data to 50 firms: NHK

Staff Report

A name-list broker who bought stolen customer data from a systems engineer working for a Benesse Corp. contractor allegedly sold the data to 50 companies, including cram schools, NHK reported Thursday, citing investigative sources.

The investigators at the Metropolitan Police Department have revealed the broker sold the data to 50 companies, including cram schools, kimono stores and cosmetics companies, according to NHK.

Masaomi Matsuzaki, 39, was arrested last week on suspicion of downloading and copying the personal data of Benesse customers onto his smartphone from the Tokyo branch of Benesse affiliate Synform Co.

He approached five name-list brokers to sell the data on more than 10 million Benesse customers, and was turned down by four of them, on grounds the source of the data was dubious, the NHK said, citing unnamed MPD sources.

The last name-list broker Matsuzaki approached, located in Tokyo’s Chiyoda Ward, reportedly made Matsuzaki sign a document that said the list “did not contain stolen data,” and that the broker was therefore not aware the information had originally belonged to Benesse, according to NHK.