Personal data of 760,000 people in Japan leaked via smartphone application


Data gleaned through address book application was made available on the Internet.

Personal data of about 760,000 people was leaked through an address book application service for smartphones temporarily to the Internet, information security company NetAgent Co. said Saturday, Kyodo News reported.

The application involved is called “Zenkoku Denwacho” (Nationwide Address Book), whose latest version has been distributed for Google Inc.’s Android operating system for free since mid-September, Kyodo said. It enables users to search information listed in a major address book developed by Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp., according to NetAgent.

But the application is also designed to send personal data stored in smartphone users’ address books, including names and phone numbers, to a rental server. Such information was temporarily available through the Internet mainly to users of the application.

At least 3,300 people are estimated to have downloaded the application. Tokyo police are set to launch an investigation after being informed of the case by Tokyo-based NetAgent.

A man in his 30s in Kanagawa Prefecture developed the application. He told Kyodo News on Saturday that a warning was attached to the application stating that users’ address books will be “used.”

NetAgent said the warning was insufficient and users would not recognize the risk of their data being leaked. The application developer said the data leaked on the Internet is now deleted.