Here in the states, T-Mobile has been no stranger to screw-ups, but we’d always just figured that their UK counterparts were stand-up guys. After all, they’re British – as we all know, every one from that side of the pond is charming, affable, and rocks a bloody good accent. Unfortunately, it looks like not everyone employed there is as scrupulous as their customers would hope – a story by the BBC has confirmed that T-Mobile UK employees sold private subscriber data to a third-party broker.
T-Mobile UK and the British authorities have been taking steps to handle the incident, with the Information Commissioner’s Office going as far as trying to stick offenders with a prison sentence instead of the ordinary £5,000 fine that comes with a violation of Britain’s Data Protection Act. The article itself keeps mum about exactly what kind of data was sold, and to which “phone firms” eventually ponied up for it. To date, the actual damage done doesn’t seem to be too bad – at worst, customers have complained about receiving unsolicited phone calls right before their contract expired, but it raises very serious questions about the trustworthiness of a company that handles sensitive information on a daily basis. Between stateside service outages and and now this, we have to wonder whether or not T-Mobile will be able to shake off their newfound status as the magenta-headed stepchild of the wireless industry.