The Mainichi Daily News in Japan reports, “Rakuten Inc., operator of popular online marketplace Rakuten Ichiba, sold users’ credit card numbers, mail addresses and other private information to vendors on the market site.”
Rakuten claimed it stopped making the data available to all vendors on the Rakuten Ichiba site after cases of private information theft by an employee at one of the vendors in 2005, but continued to sell the information to vendors that met criteria set by the company, Rakuten insiders said.
Rakuten has stated that it passed credit card numbers and other information on to nine companies that do business on the market site in order to allow them to process credit card payments themselves, rather than incur the handling fees with the Rakuten system. […]
“The handling of private information should be easy to understand for the consumer, so as to avoid any misunderstandings,” says a Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry official.