As reported by the Wall Street Journal a Shanghai court has fined Dun & Bradstreet Corp. one million yuan ($160,640) and sentenced four former executives to up to two years each in prison for illegally buying information on Chinese consumers.

Shanghai’s Zhabei district court, which issued the ruling, posted the decision on microblogging site Tencent Weibo on Wednesday afternoon.  The court said several employees, including the general manager of Shanghai Roadway D&B Marketing Services Co., received jail sentences of one to two years and fines of 5,000 to 20,000 yuan (about $800 to $3,200). A person with direct knowledge of the matter said a total of four executives were sentenced in the Dec. 28 hearing.

In a statement, D&B said it accepts the ruling.  D&B didn’t contest the court charges “in recognition of the fact that such consumer-data-collection practices contradict D&B’s core values regarding data integrity.” D&B “takes its obligations seriously to conduct business in a manner that complies with applicable regulations, and we remain committed to collecting and managing data in a secure and responsible manner,” it said.

D&B announced in May 2012 that it had shutdown its Roadway consumer direct marketing business.  On March 18, 2012, D&B announced it had temporarily suspended its Shanghai Roadway D&B Marketing Services Co. Ltd. (“Roadway”) operations in China, pending an investigation into allegations that certain data collection practices may have violated local Chinese consumer data privacy laws.

Source:  The Wall Street Journal