The Taiwan High Court rendered the 109-Shang-Su-zi-2966 Decision on October 8, 2020 (hereinafter, the “Decision”), holding that if one’s personal data are used without consent to apply for a credit card, and the credit card is used in the name of such person for consumption, the actor not only commits the offense of using forged private documents but also the offense of illegally using the personal data and the offense of fraud and shall be penalized for one offense, which carries heavier punishment than the other offenses and which is the offense of illegally using the personal data, in accordance with Article 55 of the Taiwan Criminal Code.
According to the Decision, A obtained the identification papers of B, an acquaintance, by unknown means and then used B’s personal data to apply for a credit card without B’s consent. A also forged B’s signature on the OO Bank Credit Card Application, a false private document used by A to apply for a credit card from OO Bank, and then used the application by handing over the application and a copy of B’s national identification card in his possession to a clerk of the bank who issued the credit card out of the misbelief that the application was made by B in person. Since the Defendant’s act of forging B’s signature on the OO Bank Credit Card Application is an act at the phase of document forgery, the subsequent use of the forged private document is a lower degree act relative to the forgery of a private document and is absorbed by the higher degree act of forging a private document with no additional penalty imposed.
In addition, A subsequently used the credit card for consumption in the name of B. The use of other’s credit card for consumption without an intention to pay for the consumption by forging the signature of the original card holder on the credit card slip to cause the merchant to make a mistake and mistaken the actor as the original card holder and provide certain goods or services to the actor should meet the criteria for the offense of fraud.
Based on the foregoing explanation, when A obtained B’s identification papers to apply for a credit card and then used the credit card for consumption in the name of B, A not only committed the offense of illegally using the personal data under Article 41 of the Personal Data Protection Act for illegally using B’s personal data in violation of Article 19, Paragraph 5 of the Personal Data Protection Act, but also committed the offense of using forged private documents under Articles 216 and 210 of the Taiwan Criminal Code. In light of the concurrence of offenses, A was penalized for one offense, which carries heavier punishment than the other offenses and is the offense of illegally using the personal data, in accordance with Article 55 of the same law.