News: Japan messenger app Line let engineers in China access user data without consent: media.
TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese messaging app Line, owned by SoftBank Corp’s Z Holdings Corp, allowed Chinese engineers at a Shanghai subsidiary to access data from Japanese users without their consent, Japanese media reported Wednesday.
“There was nothing that would have violated legal or regulatory limits,” said a spokesman for Line. “We always stick to a standard if we want to be as transparent as possible.”
The reports come after Line joined Z Holdings, formerly Yahoo Japan, this month and created a $ 30 billion domestic internet heavyweight to compete against local and US rivals.
Four engineers at a company in China that does system development for Line were allowed to access servers that contained names, phone numbers and emails of users, according to Asahi newspaper.
Messages themselves can only be read by the sender and recipient, as Line, like other messaging apps, encrypts the message content throughout.
Z Holdings is controlled by SoftBank Corp through Holding A Holdings, which is jointly owned by SoftBank Corp and the South Korean Naver Corp, the former operator of Line.
Z Holdings announced the merger of the line last year but was delayed from October due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Z Holdings shares fell 2% to 605.5 yen in morning trading, compared to the Tokyo Stock Exchange TOPIX index, which was unchanged.
Reporting by Tim Kelly, Takashi Umekawa, and Chang-Ran Kim; Adaptation by Himani Sarkar and Christopher Cushing
Original Source © Reuters