Celebrities’ Health Code Photos Leaked and Sold, Personal Information Safety Concerns Raised Again Amid Anti-Covid Prevention Measures

(Source: hk01)

Recently, a series of celebrities’ Health Kit photos were leaked after users discovered they only needed to enter their names and ID numbers of celebrities to access their accounts.

Health Kit is a daily refreshed health code mini-program proposed by the Beijing government to track citizens’ daily routes and health conditions. When entering a public building or space, people are usually required to scan a QR code for quick registration. Therefore, when a confirmed case is discovered, it is easier to trace people who have possibly come into contact with an infected person. 

For anyone using Health Kit, they are required to take a square-sized picture via the front-facing camera. For celebrities, the photos taken are far from refined, but the pre-photoshopped selfies would be a thrill for many to sneak a peek. 

Science City Urban Brain Co., Ltd., also referred to as Zhongke Brain Company, is responsible for the research and development of Beijing Health Kit. One staff member said on Dec. 28 that there have been many telephone inquiries about this issue and people in charge of the project are currently following up on this matter, according to 21st Century Business Herald.

Additionally, besides being able to see the selfie picture, information also includes nucleic acid test results, testing institutions and the testing time of a person’s Health Kit account. 

As of now, photos of over 50 celebrities such as three members of TFBoys, Liu Haoran, Cai Xukun, Yang Mi, and Deng Lun have been shared online, involving nucleic acid testing centers in cities of Beijing, Xiamen, Shanghai, and other cities. The information was even sold in online chat rooms and groups.

SEE ALSO: QR Code Craze Powers China’s Coronavirus Fight While Raising Concerns Over Privacy

On Nov. 1, the Beijing Government said that Health Kit will minimize the scale of personal information used by the system due to the rising concerns about scanning a QR code whenever one visits a store or restaurant. Officials also claimed that the upgraded interface only shows a person’s last name, the last two digits of an ID number, and the first three and last three digits of a user’s phone number to avoid personal information leakage. 

According to the Beijing government, all the information will only be saved on the Beijing Municipal Affairs Cloud, and only used for pandemic prevention and traceability related work.