Two former employees of T-Mobile UK who stole customer information and sold it to other businesses have been ordered to pay a total of £73,700 in fines and confiscation costs. David Turley and Darren Hames pleaded guilty to a number of offences under Section 55 of the Data Protection Act last year.
T-Mobile contacted the Information Commissioner’s Office in 2008 after discovering that customer names, addresses, telephone numbers and contract end dates were being passed on to third parties.
David Turley has been ordered to pay £45,000 confiscation costs and has been given a three year conditional discharge. However, he’ll be jailed for 18 months if he does not pay the confiscation costs within six months. Darren Hames has been ordered to pay £28,700 confiscation costs, £500 towards prosecution costs and been given an 18 month conditional discharge. He’ll be imprisoned for 15 months if he does not pay the confiscation costs within six months.
Christopher Graham, the Information Commissioner, said “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. 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 and my office will do everything in its power to uncover it. The lifestyle the pair gained from their criminal activities has been short lived and I hope this case serves as a strong deterrent to others. I am particularly grateful to T-Mobile for their help in this investigation.”
This case is the first time the ICO has applied for and been granted use of confiscation orders, which enables it to recover the proceeds from crime and use a proportion to prevent future crimes.