0370 270 6000

already registered?

Please sign in with your existing account details.

need to register?

Register to access exclusive content, sign up to receive our updates and personalise your experience on brownejacobson.com.

Privacy statement - Terms and conditions

Forgotten your password?

T-Mobile staff sold personal data

20 November 2009

On Wednesday it was reported that staff working at T-Mobile had passed on details of thousands of their customers to third party brokers. The brokers sold data about customer’s renewal dates to other phone firms, so that they could cold call the customers prior to the expiry of their existing contracts with T-Mobile.

T-Mobile said that data had been sold without their knowledge, and they had worked with the Information Commissioner to identify the source of the breach. The Information Commissioner is preparing a prosecution against those responsible.

The story is the latest in a line of high profile cases involving the illegitimate sale of personal information, and public concern about the use of the large amount of personal data kept by organisations is running high.

However the value of selling personal data would seem to outweigh the risk of being caught and punished at present. The current maximum penalty under the Data Protection Act is a fine of £5,000.

How highly should this type of information be valued? Would the threat of a higher fine or a prison sentence deter such activity?

Related opinions

Flexible working, childcare and indirect sex discrimination – important reminder

The courts have long recognised that, on a societal level, women bear a greater burden of childcare responsibilities than men which can make it more difficult for women to comply with employer requirements for flexible working (known as the ‘childcare disparity’).

View blog

Do you collect personal data from children, whether deliberately or by accident? If so you’d better read this…

If you provide goods or services online that might be of interest to children then you’re going to want to go through the ICO’s “Age Appropriate Design Code of Practice” - a code requiring minimum standards of any online service aimed (or which is likely to interest) children.

View blog

Supreme Court awards compensation to a Professor for an invention created during his employment

A recent decision by the Supreme Court in Shanks v Unilever PLC has supported the right for employees to receive compensation for patented inventions if the invention is of ‘outstanding benefit’.

View blog

Marriott International: a look behind the ICO’s £99m fine and what this means for corporate acquisitions

Last month, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) announced notice of its intention to fine (NOI) Marriott International, Inc. £99m for infringements of the GDPR.

View blog

Mailing list sign up

Select which mailings you would like to receive from us.

Sign up