CHIBA - A former executive of matchmaking service firm Web in Chiba Prefecture allegedly stole personal data of about 16,000 people who registered with the firm and tried to sell it to other matchmaking firms, it has been learned.
Web said it plans to lodge a criminal complaint over theft and other crimes against the 49-year-old former board member, who removed the information before he quit the firm in August 2006.
According to the firm, based in Ichikawa in the prefecture, the former board member allegedly stole the membership information of about 11,000 men and 5,000 women in Tokyo and 21 prefectures, including their addresses, names, dates of birth and phone numbers, with the aim of selling it.
The stolen data date from 2005, when all the firm's staff could access the data via computer.
The former board member reportedly suggested to Web that it buy back the data he had removed without permission. After the firm rejected his proposal, other matchmaking service firms began receiving from summer last year e-mails from the man in which he offered to sell them the information. Upon learning of this, the company contacted the Chiba prefectural police.