Saturday, June 18, 2011

Insiders Who Stole Customer Data Fined $120,000 by Court

A court in United Kingdom imposed £73,700 (approximately $120,000) in fines and confiscation costs on two insiders who stole and sold customer data from T-Mobile, the UK mobile phone company at which they worked.
"Those who have regular access to thousands of customer details may think that attempts to use it for personal gain will go undetected. But this case shows that there is always an audit trail."
Christopher Graham, Information Commissioner
The investigation was launched when a mobile phone operator became suspicious that customer names, addresses, telephone numbers and contract renewal data were being disclosed by insiders. The investigation culminated in two men pleading guilty to a number of offenses, including obtaining personal data without the data controller’s consent and selling that data to a third party.
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Sentencing and the final confiscation hearing took place on June 10, 2011. If the court's confiscation orders are not paid within six months, the two men will serve prison sentences of 15 months and 18 months respectively.
"Today’s hearing marks the final chapter in an investigation that has exposed the criminals behind a mass illegal trade in lucrative mobile phone contract information. It also marks a new chapter of effective deterrents on data crime where the courts will act to recover the ill-gotten gains." - Christopher Graham, Information Commissioner
The fines and confiscation costs are a result of the "Proceeds of Crime Act", UK legislation which provides for the recovery of the proceeds from crime. This case is the first time the authorities have requested and been granted use of confiscation orders.

Sources:
(a) Customer data thieves made to pay £73,700 - UK Information Commissioner’s Office, June 10, 2011
(b) Detailed Case Summary of Insider Theft at T-Mobile by David Turley and Darren Hames - UK Information Commissioner’s Office, June 10, 2011


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