Kodansha Worker Caught Sending Fake Poll to Manga Blogs

posted on 2007-12-05 23:57 EST
Employee pretended to be college student to obtain private info

The Kodansha book publisher's website announced on November 28 that an employee pretended to be a college student to gather private information from Internet bloggers on manga. Although Kodansha is still investigating the incident, the company apologized for what it called an "inexcusable act" and promised to prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future.

According to Kodansha's online notice, an employee in charge of comics had sent a survey to 156 manga bloggers via a Gmail account from November 2 to November 19. The survey identified the sender as a student of Keio University's Faculty of Policy Management. Keio University is considered among the top three universities in Tokyo, and arguably, all of Japan. The employee pretended to be a student learning about web marketing and conducting market research for a report.

The employee requested information on each site's number of visitors, criteria for selecting manga, and other details. The employee also promised "the information will be kept private, and will not be used for other purposes or publicized." Kodansha discovered the incident when a blogger noticed the survey's document file listed "Kodansha Information System Division" in the author field of its properties tags and notified the company.

The company is determining why the employee used a false identity without authorization, and said the employee will be dealt with strictness. The company reiterated its apology not only to the recipients of the emails, but also to Keio University and Kodansha's readers for the employee's betrayal of their trust.

Source: Internet Watch and The Yomiuri Shimbun via Ultimatum and ComiPress

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