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Tokyo police lose 2 floppy disks containing personal info on 38 public housing applicants

A Metropolitan Police Department sign is seen in this file photo. (Mainichi/Kenji Yoneda)

TOKYO -- The Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) has lost two floppy disks containing personal information on 38 people, the department announced on Dec. 27

    The MPD said the floppy disks contained personal data on 38 people who had applied for public housing in Tokyo's Meguro Ward. The ward office had provided the personal information to the MPD to check if the applicants were affiliated with organized crime groups.

    Police said no leaks or misuse of the information have been confirmed at this point.

    According to the MPD's third organized crime control division, the names, dates of birth, and sex of 38 men in their 20s to 80s who had applied for Meguro Ward-run housing were recorded on the floppy disks. None of them were apparently affiliated with gangs.

    The police division and Meguro Ward signed an agreement in 2012 to check whether public housing applicants were affiliated with crime syndicates. Police received the floppy disks from the ward in December 2019 and February 2021 to conduct background checks, and kept them in the division's locked storage. The loss of the disks emerged after a Meguro Ward employee made a new inquiry to the police division on Dec. 7 and police went back to the disks to return them. Police say the disks may have been discarded accidentally.

    The police division head commented, "We are very sorry to the 38 people, and sincerely apologize. We will provide thorough guidance on the handling of personal information, and strive to prevent a recurrence."

    (Japanese original by Kotaro Adachi, Tokyo City News Department)

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