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Information on entire German population in circulation

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Information on entire German population in circulation
Photo: DPA
08:54 CEST+02:00
The head of an independent state privacy protection centre believes the addresses of the entire German population, as well as a growing amount of illegal bank account information, are being used for marketing purposes.

Thilo Weichert, head of a privacy protection centre in Schleswig-Holstein, told the Wednesday edition of Munich-based daily Süddeutschen Zeitung that data on between 10 million to 20 million accounts is being used by call centres for dubious purposes such as lottery charges and internet auctions.

It was revealed last week that CDs containing information for around 17,000 German bank accounts surf have been in circulation for criminal purposes. But it appears now that the discs are just one tiny bit of a much larger privacy and fraud scandal.

“We're only seeing more and more of the tip of the iceberg,” Weichert said.

The privacy protection centre in Schleswig-Holstein, which broke the scandal, believes there is a heady trade with personal information in Germany amongst unscrupulous firms.

Prosecutors from Cologne are investigating a lottery company called LottoTeam in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia for allegedly making illegal charges to people's accounts after contacting them via call centres.

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