A California IT worker has been jailed for a year for stealing confidential data to make money by completing online health surveys.
Cam Giang, 31, a former worker at the University of California San Francisco Medical Center, used the names, birthdays and Social Security numbers of other hospital workers to complete online surveys, earning vouchers from Amazon worth $100 each time in the process.
Giang completed 382 surveys between January and April this year before the firm running the promotion, StayWell Health Management, received complaints from UCSF workers that were unable to apply for the promo, IDG reports.
Its investigation revealed that Giang had already completed surveys in the names of his co-workers. UCSF promptly fired Giang, a five-year veteran of its IT department. It also notified 486 workers that their information had been accessed without authorisation.
Defence lawyers argued that Giang never got around to cashing in the 218 vouchers (total value $21,800) that he made through the scheme. They also argued that the victims of the scam suffered damages only to the extent of failing to benefit from StayWell's marketing surveys. The personal data accessed by Giang was not applied to obtain loans under false pretences or for other more malign purposes.
Giang pleaded guilty to wire fraud and ID theft charges in July prior to his sentencing before Judge Jeremy Fogel of the US District Court for the Northern District of California on Thursday. ®