T-Mobile Employees Sell Millions of British Customers' Data Records To Rivals

The BBC yesterday reported that T-Mobile has informed the UK Information Commissioner that company employees had illegally sold millions of records relating to thousands of British T-Mobile phone owners to data brokers for "substantial sums." The brokers in turn sold the information which contained contract details to other phone companies, who then cold-called T-Mobile customers as their contracts were expiring.

According to this story in the London Telegraph, T-Mobile said it had alerted the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) about the illegal sales and had been asked to keep quiet about the incident to help avoid prejudicing an investigation. T-Mobile said it was surprised when the incident was disclosed yesterday by the BBC.

Fines in Britain for breaching of the Data Protection Act amount to only £5,000.

T-Mobile said the actions by its employees was "deeply regrettable" and that "T-Mobile takes the protection of customer information seriously."

A press release by the ICO on the incident can be found here.

In what the company hoped would be seen as good news, this week T-Mobile resumed the sale of its Sidekick smartphone. Sales of the Sidekick had been halted last month because of a massive loss of customer data due to a server problem.

This latest incident isn't likely to increase consumer confidence in T-Mobile, which took a hit over October's contretemps.


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Robert Charette
Spotsylvania, Va.
Willie D. Jones
New York City