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back to article Chinese hotel guests find data spaffed all over the internet

Chinese hotel-goers beware – newspaper reports from the Middle Kingdom claim that the personal details of thousands of guests from major hotel chains have been leaked online. The personal information appeared in a page on e-commerce platform Taobao, where a seller offer 8GB of data for 2,000 yuan (£203), and on a website called …

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Silver badge
Joke

Force of law

"It is to be welcomed that China is making strides to give Chinese citizens protection to their personal data, backed with the force of law,". I hope that would be true in the US too only the force of the law sounds a bit funny regarding the USA of to day.

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Silver badge

Re: Force of law

"name, address, telephone number, ID number and other sensitive info."

Surely all that is just meta information and so nobody should possibly care if it was recorded, analysed, sold etc?

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Anonymous Coward

Mass production

Take the personal details of someone and make multiple copies of their identity. It's the Party's business model gone rogue. And only kinda joking - as a country the approach to copyright and IP is very very different from the rest of the world.

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Travel - it's like that...

Whether in Brussels or Beijing, I always prefer tethered 3G to WiFi. If I use WiFi, it is behind a VPN (usually my own server).

As for giving " name, address, workplace, ID number, birth date and phone number just to register for Wi-Fi" -- who would be silly enough to do that in this day and age? Birth date?

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Re: Travel - it's like that...

"As for giving " name, address, workplace, ID number, birth date and phone number just to register for Wi-Fi" -- who would be silly enough to do that in this day and age? Birth date?"

This info is required by Chinese law. No internet access without a real identity.

So in the US, you can walk into any Starbucks and get free Internet without even logging in (but you may have to watch an ad). In China, that would be illegal, as all the real identity of all Internet users must be known at all times.

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Bronze badge

Re: Travel - it's like that...

"This info is required by Chinese law. No internet access without a real identity."

I can confirm this, even for McD's free wifi you have to provide this info in China (and McD only give you 30 minutes access - it takes nearly that long to get through the sign-up!!)

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Re: Travel - it's like that...

Really? It was quite easy for me to find bars in Beijing and other cities that have free Wi-fi that do not require any details. The needed even less than the "free wi-fi" common in the West which require registration.

Still, quite a few of those details they are asking for will be required for our hotel reservation (and visa) in the first place, so the hotels I used needed you to register, but simple enough for any agency to link your hotel room number to reservation details and then visa. That's why I stayed clear of those.

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Re: Travel - it's like that...

I've been in places that demanded it.

I registered as Commander John Koenig, Moonbase Alpha, DOB 9/13/99. And I give president@whitehouse.gov as email, and the White House switchboard as the phone.

Haven't been asked for SSN YET. . . but I have both Elvis's and Richard Nixon's available. . .

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Re: Travel - it's like that...

> Really? It was quite easy for me to find bars in Beijing and other cities that have free Wi-fi that do not require any details. The needed even less than the "free wi-fi" common in the West which require registration.

Same thing, been there the last three weeks most bars and little shops here/there just give you the password to connect to the wifi (if password required) or don't even bother with one in the first place, and off ye go online (minus various few online places which of course are banned/blocked).

> Still, quite a few of those details they are asking for will be required for our hotel reservation (and visa) in the first place, so the hotels I used needed you to register, but simple enough for any agency to link your hotel room number to reservation details and then visa. That's why I stayed clear of those.

The hotels I've been to of course also required that data, booking and whatnotall, and at least in the hotel in BeiJing it was required to speak with another person within the hotel to have the internet access enabled.

However in all three hotels I've been to they also had publicly accessible wireless, two had it only in the lobby, one had it throughout its building, and when using those they won't necessarily be able to identify the user in connection to which room that person has booked. The hotel in ShangHai required room number and passport ID to connect to the wireless, though we (and a few others too) have been handed generic un/pw to connect, and worked.

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Gold badge
FAIL

Oh look, the "benefits" of "security."

"So in the US, you can walk into any Starbucks and get free Internet without even logging in (but you may have to watch an ad). In China, that would be illegal, as all the real identity of all Internet users must be known at all times."

So instead you get rampant identify theft.

Sounds like you need to run any access through your phone if you want to cut down the number of people who can steal your identity.

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In the US it shoul,d read "protection to their personal data, FROM the force of law

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Anonymous Coward

Well, the NSA probably have taps into those from the WiFi providers anyway.

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