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Staff at mobile phone company T-Mobile passed on millions of records from thousands of customers to third party brokers, the firm has confirmed. Details emerged after the firm alerted the information commissioner, who said his office was preparing a prosecution.
Christopher Graham said brokers had sold the data to other phone firms, who then cold-called the customers as their contracts were due to expire.
A T-Mobile spokesman said the data had been sold “without our knowledge”.
Mr Graham, who was appointed earlier this year as the watchdog responsible for safeguarding personal information, said the data breach was the biggest of its kind.
Initially Mr Graham had said he would not name the operator involved as it could prejudice a prosecution. But after phone firms 02, Vodafone, Orange, 3 and Virgin said they were not the subject of his investigation, T-Mobile confirmed it had been…
Mr Graham said investigators had been working with the company after it reported suspicions of an unlawful trade in customers’ data…
A spokesman for T-Mobile said the sale of the data had been “deeply regrettable” and that it had been asked to keep it secret to avoid any criminal prosecutions being prejudiced…
No doubt TV talking heads will be stretched to come up with a definition other than the perpetual “hacker”. You should look back into the history of white-collar crime and discover the term “thief” is still pretty sound.
The commodity may vary. The process of stealing – and selling stolen goods – remains the same.