Hang, Head of the Communication Division of an information technology service firm, said that she usually bought goods on three groupon websites. After a short time after she began making online purchases, her email account became full of the emails from 5-6 other groupon websites, inviting to buy goods.
Hang said this was a surprise to her, because she showed the email account her company provided to individuals, which she did not give to anyone before.
According to Son, an information technology system administrator of a shopping mall in HCM City, said he received a lot of calls from an insurance company, persuading him to take an insurance policy. He had not received similar calls until several months ago, when he opened a bank account.
Both Hang and Son said they feel inconvenient when they are bothered with the calls. However, they are both luckier than others, because they could find out why the personal information was leaked.
Meanwhile, Ha, an office worker of a wooden furniture shop, said that she provides her personal information to many jewelry shops, footwear and spa shops, shopping malls and supermarkets to join customer care programs and sale promotion campaigns. Ha receives so many messages, emails and calls every day, persuading them to use financial services, but she cannot find how her personal information was leaked.
There are many personal information sources. Consumers would voluntarily leave personal information on survey sheets delivered by consumer goods companies, or provide personal information to the call centers of enterprises, or booking agents.
According to Hang, in order to buy goods from groupon websites, she has to provide personal information. And though she understands well that the information may be out, she has to accept the risk, because she needs to buy goods regularly.
Son also said that when providing personal information, he can use a lot of other bank services while not needing to repeat the information every time he uses it. Especially, providing personal information is a compulsory condition for every client who wants to use banking services.
Meanwhile, Ha said that she would be ready to provide personal information, because the information would help the enterprises better serve clients.
However, both Ha and Hang admitted that the enterprises do not make any commitments on their responsibility to protect personal information. In some cases, consultancy officers only make oral commitments. Meanwhile, Son said that even if the enterprises promise to keep personal information secret, no one would be able to find out if the enterprises break their promises.
Therefore, most of people now accept to “live together with the risk of information exposure.”
Not only individuals--leaking information has also become a headache to businesses. A director of a real estate firm said that his marketing division is comprised of 10 officers. When an officer leaves the firm, he would leave a list of potential clients. However, the list only shows the names and the telephone numbers. Meanwhile, other important information such as the financial capability, salaries and hobbies would be taken away by the officers.
Vo Thai Lam, Director of Lac Tien Company, which specializes in providing the solutions on corporate governance with open source software pieces, said that this is a big problem of small and medium enterprises which do not have clear corporate governance procedure.
When quitting jobs, officers only give back tangible assets, such as computers or simcards; while intangible assets, such as the contacts and customers’ data are always ignored.