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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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Why Functional Programming Should Be the Future of Software Development

It’s hard to learn, but your code will produce fewer nasty surprises

11 min read
A plate of spaghetti made from code
Shira Inbar

You’d expectthe longest and most costly phase in the lifecycle of a software product to be the initial development of the system, when all those great features are first imagined and then created. In fact, the hardest part comes later, during the maintenance phase. That’s when programmers pay the price for the shortcuts they took during development.

So why did they take shortcuts? Maybe they didn’t realize that they were cutting any corners. Only when their code was deployed and exercised by a lot of users did its hidden flaws come to light. And maybe the developers were rushed. Time-to-market pressures would almost guarantee that their software will contain more bugs than it would otherwise.

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