Two former employees of the T-Mobile have been fined £73,000 and given suspended prison sentences for the illegal trade in the phone giant’s customer data. Hames sold personal data to another Turley, a colleague at the time, who sold that data to a third party for a profit. The Information Commissioner’s Office praised the mobile phone firm for working with it to uncover the illegal deal.
It is an offence under the Data Protection Act to knowingly or recklessly obtain personal data without consent. The data was important to T-Mobile and its competitors as it contained details of names, addresses, telephone numbers and customer contract end dates. This is the first time the Information Commissioner has sought a confiscation order under the Proceeds of Crime Act. That is where an order is made to deprive the wrong-doer from any benefit he has received from the crime.
The Information Commissioner has hailed the result in this case as marking a new chapter in deterrents against misuse of personal data. This case proves that there will be an audit trail and his office will try to find what has happened to it, and will take appropriate action, according to the Commissioner. The fine is the largest ever for employees who have stolen personal data for their own gain.