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China fintech lending boom fuels risks of data theft

来源:FT中文网    2017-11-30 07:36

        The rise of online consumer loans in China has spawned a thriving black market in stolen user data.        在线消费贷款在中国的兴起,已经催生了一个活跃的专门买卖被窃用户数据的黑市。
        Virtually non-existent in the country five years ago, consumer lending through websites and mobile apps has expanded rapidly over the past 18 months amid a proliferation of fintech start-ups that use big data to assess credit risk.        五年前在中国几乎不存在的消费贷款业务,在过去18个月里通过网站和手机app迅速发展,其背景是大批金融科技初创企业成立,它们利用大数据来评估客户的信用风险。
        Two such companies, Qudian and Ppdai, have completed initial public offerings in New York since October, capitalising on investor enthusiasm for fintech. Their share prices have suffered in recent weeks, however, after Chinese authorities launched a crackdown on the industry. Chinese regulators last week suspended issuance of licences for new online lenders.         自10月以来,两家这样的公司,趣店(Qudian)和拍拍贷(Ppdai),在纽约完成了首次公开发行(IPO),充分利用了投资者对金融科技的热情。不过,它们的股价在近几周下滑,原因是中国有关部门对该行业进行整治。中国监管机构上周暂停发放新的在线贷款机构许可证。
        While regulators appear to be focused mainly on default risk from unqualified borrowers and abusive collection practices, experts are also raising concerns over data privacy.        监管机构似乎主要关注不合格借款人的违约风险以及粗暴的催收做法,专家们还提出了数据隐私方面的担忧。
        “Consumers know that loan platforms are collecting their data but they don’t know who is selling it,” said Zhang Yi, chief executive of iiMedia Research, a consultancy. “For the most part, these platforms aren’t selling data as their main business or they wouldn’t be able to survive. But employees who manage the data are the main source of data leaks.”        “消费者知道贷款平台在采集他们的数据,但他们并不知道是谁在出售数据,”艾媒咨询(iiMedia Research)首席执行官张毅表示。“在大多数情况下,这些平台不是以销售数据为主要业务,否则它们无法生存。但是管理数据的员工是数据泄露的主要来源。”
        In a chatroom devoted to consumer lending on Tencent’s QQ social-media platform, the Financial Times contacted a person claiming to be an employee of an online lender who was offering user data for sale.        在腾讯(Tencent) QQ社交媒体平台上一个专门讨论消费信贷的聊天室中,英国《金融时报》联系了一名自称是在线贷款机构员工的人,此人声称有用户数据可以出售。
        For Rmb4 ($0.61) per user, he offered to provide the full name, national ID number, phone number and loan limit. He added that for some borrowers, the data would also include a credit score from Sesame Credit, the unit of Alibaba’s financial affiliate Ant Financial that sells credit scores to banks and consumer lenders with users’ consent.        他提出,能够以每条用户信息4元人民币(合0.61美元)的价格,提供全名、身份证号码、电话号码和贷款限额。他补充说,对于一些借款人,数据还包括来自芝麻信用(Sesame Credit)的信用评分。芝麻信用是阿里巴巴(Alibaba)关联公司蚂蚁金服(Ant Financial)旗下的机构,在用户同意的情况下向银行和消费贷款机构出售信用评分数据。
        Loan apps are also supplementing loan income by selling data legally after users agree to expansive terms and conditions.        贷款app也通过合法销售数据(在用户同意了杂七杂八的条款及条件之后)来补充贷款收入。
        Terms and conditions for Qudian, Ppdai, and Yongqianbao, three major lending apps, grant the companies permission to “provide” data to third parties — a term legal experts say includes selling the data. In addition to online consumer lending groups, which lend from their own capital, peer-to-peer lenders including Nasdaq-listed Hexindai also operate on similar terms.        三大贷款app——趣店、拍拍贷和用钱宝(Yongqianbao)——的条款及条件授权这些公司向第三方“提供”数据;法律专家称,这一条包括出售数据。除了通过自有资金放贷的在线消费贷款集团外,P2P贷款机构——包括在纳斯达克(Nasdaq)上市的和信贷(Hexindai)——也采用类似条款。
        The apps are unusable unless the user both accepts the terms and conditions and authorises his mobile operating system to grant the app access to contacts, location, stored files and other data.        除非用户接受这些条款及条件,并授权自己的手机操作系统允许app访问联系人、地理位置、存储文件和其他数据,否则用不了这些app。
        Qudian on Wednesday said it had never sold or rented out user data. The company said it had launched an internal investigation in response to reports of a data leak, that it had not discovered any leak so far but that the investigation was ongoing. Ppdai, Yongqianbao and Hexindai did not respond to requests for comment.         趣店周三表示,其从未出售或出租用户数据。该公司表示,针对数据泄露的报道,已启动一项内部调查,迄今未发现有任何泄露,但调查仍在进行。拍拍贷、用钱宝以及和信贷没有回应记者的置评请求。
        Analysts say many buyers of user data are other consumer lending platforms hoping to jump-start their own business by identifying potential customers who have borrowed from others. Platforms where users have registered but never taken a loan may also choose to pass user information to a competitor.         分析师们表示,用户数据的许多买家是其他消费贷款平台,他们希望识别曾经从其他平台借款的潜在客户,尽快打开自己的业务。用户作了登记、但从未借款的平台,也可能选择将用户信息卖给竞争对手。
        “Consumer lending platforms are definitely involved in buying and selling data, and it’s hard to stop,” said Xue Hangyan, director of the Suning Financial Research Institute, a division of electronics retailer Suning Holdings. “Everyone faces the problem of acquiring customers and wants data that can help them with precision sales and marketing, so the demand for user data is very large.”        “消费贷款平台肯定参与了数据买卖,很难制止这种做法,”电器零售商苏宁控股(Suning Holdings)旗下苏宁金融研究院的互联网金融中心主任薛洪言表示。“大家都面临着获取客户的问题,希望获得有助于他们进行精准销售和营销的数据,因此对用户数据的需求非常大。”
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