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1,789 file Y100 mil damages suit against Benesse over data leak

14 Comments

Lawyers representing 1,789 customers of educational services company Benesse filed a 100 million yen suit for damages against the firm on Thursday over a data leak that affected more than 20 million people last year.

One of the lawyers told reporters outside the Tokyo District Court that the massive data leak of confidential information such as names and addresses had caused great anxiety among many people, TBS reported.

The lawyer said another 1,000 plaintiffs are expected to join the damages suit by mid-February.

Masaomi Matsuzaki, a systems engineer, was arrested last July for stealing massive amounts of personal data -- including names, addresses, phone numbers and birthdays -- multiple times, which he then sold for about 2.5 million yen.

The magnitude of the leak prompted angry calls for an explanation from Benesse, one of the country's best-known companies. The firm, whose holdings include the Berlitz language education brand, offers services ranging from teaching babies how to use toys to English instruction.

Benesse confirmed the leak of personal data of at least 7.6 million people, but said the problem could ultimately affect more than 20 million.

However, other details such as credit card numbers, banking data and student performance evaluations were safe, it said.

Matsuzaki was a systems engineer at Benesse affiliate Synform Co when he copied personal details of customers who had supplied the information to the educational services company, according to police. They said a minimum of 10 million were affected.

The stolen data was sold to at least 10 list brokers, including JustSystems Corp which used it to send ads to Benesse customers.

The theft was discovered when people started receiving phone calls and advertising letters from Benesse rivals that should not have had the information, authorities said.

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) reprimanded Benesse and ordered the company to improve its data protection systems and strengthen oversight.

© Japan Today

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14 Comments
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the president of benesse may have to sell his island to pay for the damages.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Now isnt this more called for, than trying to sue the Asahi.(rhetorical question)

2 ( +2 / -0 )

".....personal data—including names, addresses, phone numbers and birthdays......" "......other details such as credit card numbers, banking data and student performance evaluations were safe, ......"

Not such a big deal really, most Japanese houses have a plate on the outside wall with the address and name of the occupier.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I guess the Berlitz teachers won't be getting their bonus this year.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Why didn't the government fine these jokers!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I guess the Berlitz teachers won't be getting their bonus this year.

Do they usually get one?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I'm not sure how the plaintiffs can show damages to the court. "Your honor, I got 5 extra pieces of mail due to their dastardly actions!"

And why aren't the companies who bought and used the data getting into trouble? Did they think some random dude just hand compiled a list of 10 million names?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

However, other details such as credit card numbers, banking data and student performance evaluations were safe, it said.

Coming from the same company that had 20 MILLION people affected by the breach. Everyone here who actually believes this guy, raise their hands. "Hey you, the guy in the front, yeah you the one with your hand up! How would you like to buy some great beach front property?"

Do they usually get one?

If you are "seishiain" or permanent employee, teacher or otherwise, odds are yes they will get a bonus.

100 Million yen is pocket change to Benese. That's less than $1 Million (US)

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I guess the Berlitz teachers won't be getting their bonus this year.

No worries. They can make it up in stolen data.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) reprimanded Benesse and ordered the company to improve its data protection systems and strengthen oversight."

There is nothing you can do against unscrupulous employees, whatever the education you give them.

I have access, like many people, to confidential or privileged information but it never came in my mind to steal and steal that data.

The plaintiffs should sue the data thief instead while Benesse shared also the blame.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

How would you like to buy some great beach front property?"

My answer to that question is the same as my answer to your comment; a quiet laugh to myself, delete and move on.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yubaru: "100 Million yen is pocket change to Benese. That's less than $1 Million (US)"

Exactly, and I've no doubt they made far more from the leak than they would lose from lawsuits. Just out of curiousity, did anyone notice Honda is the latest poster boy for this corrupt company? hahaha. Funny coincidence.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

did anyone notice Honda is the latest poster boy for this corrupt company? hahaha. Funny coincidence.

That Masaomi Matsuzaki is corrupt is without question, but whatever makes you suggest Benesse itself or, worse yet, suggest that Honda is corrupt?

Perhaps a bit more thought before typing pat responses is in order.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Another bites the dust.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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