Company director fined for illegally accessing EE’s databases

by Redmans Solicitors on December 11, 2014

The Information Commissioner’s Office has reported that a company director has been heavily fined by the courts after he was found guilty of illegally accessing and using information belonging to another company.

Mr Matthew Devlin, 25, was prosecuted by the ICO after he illegally gained access to Everything Everywhere’s (“EE”) customer database by pretending to be a member of Orange’s security team when calling legitimate mobile phone distributors, in an attempt to obtain the login details of the distributors. It is reported that he succeeded on one occasion and gained access to the records of 1,066 customers. He then proceeded to use the details of the customers that he obtained to target customers who were due a mobile telephone upgrade to offer them services from his own telecommunication company.

Mr Devlin’s acts were subsequently discovered and reported to the ICO. The ICO investigated and determined that Mr Devlin had acted in breach of criminal and civil law and prosecuted him. The case came to the Calderdale Magistrates’ Court earlier this year and was fined £500, ordered to pay costs of £438.63, and a £50 victim surcharge.

Stephen Eckersley, the ICO’s head of enforcement, commented on the conviction: “Unlawfully obtaining or accessing personal data is a criminal offence under section 55 of the Data Protection Act 1998. But perpetrators cannot be jailed the offence is punishable by way of ‘fine only’ – up to £5,000 in a Magistrates Court or an unlimited fine in a Crown Court.”

This case followed a report from the ICO in September this year that a former paralegal at a firm of solicitors had been prosecuted by the ICO after he illegally took client information belonging to the firm to a rival firm of solicitors when he left his job in 2013. He was prosecuted under section 55 of the Data Protection Act, fined £300, ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £30, and £438.63 in prosecution costs.

Chris Hadrill, a specialist employment solicitor at Redmans, commented on the case: “As the ICO has stated, Mr Devlin not only has been fined a relatively substantial sum but has also now received a criminal conviction – this may affect his ability to run his own company (as this can lead to disqualification as a director) and to get a job in the future, as businesses can find out whether people have unspent criminal convictions.”

Redmans Solicitors are no win no fee employment solicitors and Chiswick employment solicitors

Redmans Solicitors

Redmans Solicitors

Commercial law, employment law and litigation firm based in Richmond, London
Redmans Solicitors

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