SEOUL, Feb. 1 (Korea Bizwire) – Homeplus Co., the South Korean unit of British retail giant Tesco PLC, has been indicted on charges of illegally selling customer data to insurance firms in exchange for money, a government investigation team said Sunday.
Homeplus is accused of gathering more than 24 million pieces of customer data, including birth dates, number of children and other personal information, and selling them to a number of insurance firms for a total of 23.17 billion won (US$21.14 million), the investigation team said. Most of the information were collected under the guise of conducting a lottery for free gifts.
Homeplus chief Do Sung-hwan, five other former and current company executives and staff, and two officials from the insurance companies have also been indicted over their involvement in the case, according to the team.
Do and the other Homeplus staff are accused of requiring customers to submit personal information in order to enter draws for the gifts.
Most customers who entered the draws were unaware that their personal information would be sold to insurance companies as such details were provided in barely visible print on the coupons. Some of the customers were not even contacted upon winning a prize, the investigation team said.