The mobile operator has admitted that an employee is facing prosecution after selling personal details of thousands of British customers to rival companies in an alleged major breach of data protection laws.
In a statement, T-Mobile UK, part of Deutsche Telekom, said it had contacted the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) after discovering an employee was passing on the information and it believed the investigation would result in a prosecution.
“While it is deeply regrettable that customer information has been misappropriated in this way, we have proactively supported the ICO to help stamp out what is a problem for the whole industry,” the company says.
Information Commissioner Christopher Graham said the data was sold for “substantial amounts of money” to brokers working for other mobile phone companies.
The privacy watchdog said it planned to prosecute and would push for jail terms for anyone convicted. Rival companies bought the information and used it to make cold calls to the customers offering them a new contract with a new network.