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Print 13 comment(s) - last by Scabies.. on Nov 19 at 3:04 AM

Data included contract expiration date, names, and addresses of customers

T-Mobile has had its share of issues lately. The company is seemingly trying to corner the market for Android-powered handsets and is doing well with luring new customers to its service to enjoy these devices.

Recently reports have surfaced that users are finding pornographic images on their online accounts page. T-Mobile issued a statement saying, "T-Mobile is aware of reports from a few customers who have seen inappropriate or unwanted pictures in their online "MyAlbum" section within their MyT-Mobile account. We are taking these reports seriously and actively investigating these issues."

Today reports of another serious concern for T-Mobile subscribers in the UK has surfaced. According to T-Mobile, it has discovered that some employees were selling data about when customer contracts would expire along with the customer name and address to competing mobile operators.

The misappropriated data reportedly covers thousands of customers and to have changed hands for "substantial sums" of money. T-Mobile insists that the data was sold without its permission and without it knowing.

As soon as the selling of the data was discovered T-Mobile contacted the Information Commissioner's Office, reported the issue, and agreed to fully cooperate with investigations. While names, addresses, and contract expiration dates were sold, T-Mobile insists that no personal safety or security information was sold.

T-Mobile issued a statement saying, "The customer information that was compromised contained no personal financial or security-related information whatsoever."

InformationWeek reports that T-Mobile stated it was surprised its name was reported publicly. The mobile provider had asked to remain anonymous so it would not interfere with the investigation. The company also undoubtedly wanted to keep its name out of headlines as well.

Reuters reports that Information Commissioner Christopher Graham plans to prosecute those involved and will push for jail time. Graham said, "The existing paltry fines for Section 55 offenses are simply not enough to deter people from engaging in this lucrative criminal activity. The threat of jail, not fines, will prove a stronger deterrent."



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Not quite...
By R6Raven on 11/18/2009 10:43:31 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
The mobile provider had asked to remain anonymous so it would not interfere with the investigation.


I'm calling BS here. They didn't want the T-Mobile name raked through the mud following the recent issue with the My Album pictures, coupled with the fact that their service sucks to begin with.




RE: Not quite...
By aebiv on 11/18/2009 10:53:13 AM , Rating: 3
Having switched from AT&T (who I was happy with coverage, and unhappy with service) to T-Mobile on my business phone, I'm getting rid of my Verizon personal phone and going with T-Mobile. Their customer service is top notch, and I've had better coverage than I could have hoped for.

It says something, in an area that only has Alltel and Verizon, is very rural, and I get better coverage than any of them.


RE: Not quite...
By R6Raven on 11/18/2009 10:57:48 AM , Rating: 2
Must be nice. I'm slap in the middle of Atlanta and nobody in our office can get service unless we go to one particular side of the building and stand right next to the window.


RE: Not quite...
By smackababy on 11/18/2009 11:12:05 AM , Rating: 5
Is most likely your building. T-Mobile is on GSM, and it does not have signal pentration like whatever band Verizon and Sprint are on, so you suffer indoors. I know for a fact that in area outdoors in Atlanta has great coverage for T-Mobile.


RE: Not quite...
By Oregonian2 on 11/18/2009 3:01:22 PM , Rating: 2
I think it may be where a tower is located in relation to the building (and perhaps the window structure of the building) as well as differences in the particular phones used for the different vendors (although T-Mobile and AT&T can use the same ones if the phone is unlocked).

I went from Verizon to AT&T (just to get GSM for foreign travel) and found that I'd get meter-pegging strength indoors with AT&T while Verizon had been marginal. Of course the AT&T phone was much newer/better and who knows where the towers were in relation to the building I was working in.

A company I once worked for had a division that made repeaters of sorts to bring into buildings cell-phone coverage from outside buildings. Apparently "penetration" is a general problem.


RE: Not quite...
By noxipoo on 11/18/2009 4:09:11 PM , Rating: 2
if your building is big enough and has enough t-mobile customers ask them to bring in a repeater to the building, we did that and now have full bars inside the building.


RE: Not quite...
By Runiteshark on 11/18/2009 3:33:42 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed, T-Mobile customer service is excellent.


I'm just gonna go ahead and say it...
By Motoman on 11/18/2009 11:27:34 AM , Rating: 5
...like the guy in the commercial, when Catherine Zeta-Jones comes knocking, I'll buy and/or sell anything she wants.




By jonmcc33 on 11/18/2009 11:41:21 AM , Rating: 3
Yeah, is there even a post to read? I just see Catherine Zeta-Jones.


They all do it.
By Aloonatic on 11/18/2009 10:48:49 AM , Rating: 2
I've been with o2 for years, and this is the first year when I haven't received calls from other companies offering deals when my contract ran out.

My wife is with T-Mobile though, and whoever they sell the details onto seem to take it a bit further. More often than not doing all they can to pretend to be T-Mobile, sometimes even telling the odd porky pie to make out that they are.

How this story broke on the radio was quite funny.

The news was leaked, but as is stated, the name of the company was never made clear. However, it did not take long for o2, Vodafone, Orange etc to call into the BBC to tell them that they don't know who it was who was selling on details, but it sure isn't them.

Does this sort of thing go on in the USA?




T-Mobile, o2, Vodafone and Sky
By AshT on 11/18/2009 10:59:46 AM , Rating: 2
My fiance and I have had phones on T-Mobile, o2 and Vodafone and as we've approached then end of contract periods we've always had calls from random communication companies. I'm saying that I think all these companies suffer security lapses. If I wanted my details to be known then I would hand them out.

Also Sky, we've had 2x Sky+ boxes and 2x Sky HD boxes and at the end of each warranty period random companies phone and ask us to take out warranties with them.

Incidentally we never have and never will give out contract ending dates. So I can only guess where this info comes from.




T-Mobile were outed for it...
By Fluppeteer on 11/18/2009 12:52:07 PM , Rating: 2
Some employees sold some T-Mobile customer data, T-Mobile were investigating, and the fact that this happened didn't remain as private as T-Mobile had hoped.

The surprising thing to me is that T-Mobile were actually looking into it. I'm with them now, but when I was with Orange I regularly got calls from third parties who knew details of my contract, and Orange showed little interest in doing anything about it. Since Orange and T-Mobile are merging (in the UK), I can imagine that any enthusiasm for doing the right thing on T-Mobile's part will die soon.

It's not just mobile companies. I keep getting contacted about maintenance contracts for my satellite TV, too. This has been going on for ages; while I have some sympathy for T-Mobile for being singled out, the media fuss might actually get some companies to care about it. In an ideal world, anyway.




<no subject>
By Scabies on 11/19/2009 3:04:13 AM , Rating: 2
our family has been with T-Mobile for just over ten years now.

family plan + odd timed upgrades = never ending contract (+ no re-sub snipers)




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