National / Crime & Legal

Man held on suspicion of illegally copying exec's My Number info

Kyodo

A man was arrested Friday on suspicion of illegally obtaining the My Number information of a female executive he was working for, the police said.

Shuhei Egawa allegedly copied an image of the woman’s My Number notification card, which she had stored on her computer, and saved it to his own computer via the company’s internal network on Feb. 26.

The arrest is likely the first related to the law prohibiting the acquisition of a My Number ID by theft or trespassing since the law took effect in October 2015, a police official said.

Under the social security and tax ID system, each individual is assigned a 12-digit My Number to make it easier for tax and other authorities to discover tax evasion and welfare fraud.

Notification cards are issued to inform people of their ID numbers. While not formal My Number IDs per se, the paper notification cards nonetheless list their name, address, birthday, sex and My Number.

No abuse of personal information has been confirmed in this case, according to the police.

Egawa, who was working for the information technology-related company at the time of the alleged crime, denied the allegation, saying he obtained the image data in question to scan it for a potential computer virus, the police said.

Egawa accessed her PC using a security flaw. After obtaining the image, he showed it to his male co-workers at the time via a chat program, the police said. The woman, in her 30s, had stored the image on her PC to submit it to the company.

In a similar case, a man in Kagawa Prefecture was arrested in February on suspicion of trespassing at the home of a co-worker. He was later sent to prosecutors for allegedly photographing her My Number card and was convicted in June.

Public concerns remain over leaks and abuse of personal information regarding the My Number system.

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