T-Mobile UK got a nasty surprise when they realized that their customers whose contract was due to expire were being contacted by their competitors.
They soon realized that someone at T-Mobile must have provided them the information to go about this business, and they immediately contacted the Information Commissioner’s Office.
The company spokesman said that T-Mobile takes the protection of customer information seriously, that together with the ICO they have managed to determine the source of the breach and that the ICO is preparing to prosecute the people involved in stealing the data.
According to Information Commissioner Christopher Graham, this breach was the biggest of this kind. Millions of records were sold to third party brokers who, in their turn, sold it to T-Mobile’s competition.
According to BBC News, he thinks that this things happen because the penalties for this kind of illegal activity are not strong enough – a £5,000 fine is enforced is the person is found guilty, but no jail time. And the business is lucrative enough to make people weigh the pros and cons and then decide to do it.
The Ministry of Justice has been considering the introduction of stronger penalties that would include prison sentences, and many government officials and judges agree.