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T-Mobile in data breach scandal

The government’s privacy watchdog has today revealed that an employee of T-Mobile, one of the U.K.'s best-known mobile network operations, took the details of thousands of customers and ultimately they ended up in the hands of rival firms. This meant that thousands upon thousands of T-mobile customers received cold calls from competitors looking to better their mobile phone packages and entice them away from T-Mobile. While cold calling is not illegal, under strict conditions, the sale of the personal data of thousands of customers is a serious breach of data protection.

While initially the government watchdog was unwilling to name the telecom network under investigation, T-Mobile openly admitted that it went to the watchdog after finding details of the data theft. It seems as though the information was sold to brokers who then passed this information to rival networks for substantial fees. There are no details regarding the networks which took on the information, something they appear to have paid for, but no doubt more details will emerge in due course.

This is by far and away the most serious data protection issue to hit the mainstream UK market for some time and will put many consumers on the back foot and make life difficult for businesses in the UK.

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