British Citizen Arrested In China, Accused Of Selling Personal Data

Risk consultant Peter Humphrey has admitted using “illegal means” to obtain information

Chinese authorities have arrested a British citizen and his American wife on suspicion of trading in personal data, including addresses, car ownership records and details of international travel.

Peter Humphrey and Yu Yingzeng are accused of selling this information to lawyers, global corporations and banks thorough the ChinaWhys risk consultancy, which they co-founded in 2003.

According to Reuters, the couple was detained in the middle of July, but the information was only released by the state media on Tuesday.

Taking risks

Humphrey and his wife were detained in Shanghai on July 10, as part of investigation into the work of pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). This information was revealed on Tuesday by CCTV, the state-run television channel.

privacy - Shutterstock: © Roland IJdemaDuring the broadcast, Humphrey admitted that he occasionally used “illegal means” to obtain relevant information. “I very much regret this and apologise to the Chinese government,” said the risk consultant.

ChinaWhys describes itself as a “professional-services consultancy that specializes in discreet risk mitigation solutions, consulting and investigation services to corporate clients in matters of high sensitivity across Greater China and the Asia Pacific.”

“We were concerned to see that Peter Humphrey was interviewed about the details of a case which is currently under investigation and has yet to come to trial,” UK Foreign Office said in a statement. “We are continuing to provide consular assistance to Mr Humphrey and his family.”

Chinese authorities have been investigating bribery accusations against GSK, one of ChinaWhys customers, since July. They claim British corporation has transferred up to £320m through travel agencies to facilitate bribes to doctors and officials.

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