Japanese man loses USB stick containing whole city's personal data after night of drinking

A very good reason not to bring work to a night out.

Irwan Shah | June 25, 2022, 03:39 PM

People have done all sorts of crazy things during a night out. Vomiting on the sidewalk, passing out, and to a certain degree, perhaps a brawl.

However, losing the personal details of the residents of an entire city takes the cake.

A Japanese man in his 40s did exactly that when he lost his bag together with a memory stick after a night out drinking in Amagasaki, a city northwest of Osaka.

Merry until he's kaput

The man met his colleagues for a night out one Tuesday evening. Before that, he had transferred the data of almost half a million people into the memory stick he was carrying in his bag.

The data had sensitive information such as names, birth dates, addresses, bank account numbers and many more according to the BBC.

Local Japanese media NHK reported that the man was working for a company that was engaged by the city to hand out subsidies to households affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

He eventually passed out on the street after a night of heavy drinking. He only realised that he had lost his bag the next day when he came to.

A police report was made by the man and the memory stick was found in a day.

Luckily, the data within the memory stick was secured with an encryption and a password. City officials added that there were no signs indicating that a breach was attempted to obtain the device's information.

City officials apologise

Despite the close shave, the unfortunate incident triggered a public apology among the city's official, including the mayor, towards the residents.

An Amagasaki city official told the public in a press conference that they "deeply regret" the damage done towards the "public's trust" in the city's administration.

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Top photo by Heshan Perera.