SIS looking into data leak believed to be used by China intelligence

The Security Intelligence Service says it is looking into the huge leak of data believed to be used by China's intelligence service.

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The dataset leaked from Zhenhua Data is said to contain personal details of 2.5 million people around the world, including politicians, their family members, judges, business people, journalists and criminals.

Almost 800 New Zealanders are featured on the list, including Jacinda Ardern's mother, father, and sister.

Security Intelligence Service director Rebecca Kitteridge said they were reviewing the information for any potential risks and security concerns.

However, at this stage Kitteridge said the information was primarily drawn from publicly accessible sources, such as social media and news reporting.

"We know that different organisations compile information of this nature from publicly accessible sources for a range of purposes, ranging from private companies wanting to carry out marketing or research at one end of the spectrum, through to governments seeking to influence public discussion or gather intelligence in other countries at the other," Kitteridge said.

"I understand people may be unaware their information could be gathered up in this way.

"This is a timely reminder to everyone to check the security settings on their social media accounts and review the amount of information they are sharing on the internet."