Two former employees of T-Mobile have been fined a total of £73,000 for stealing and selling on data, after a successful case led by the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO).
David Turley and Darren Hames pleaded guilty to offences under Section 55 of the Data Protection Act, and will have to pay back £45,000 and £28,700 respectively, as well as costs towards the case.
The ICO will receive a portion of the repayments under the Proceeds of Crime Act which it will use to fund further training for investigation staff, the first time it has applied for such funds.
Information commissioner Christopher Graham hoped that the case will serve as a stark warning that the ICO is being tough on data theft and has the ability to track down those responsible.
"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," he said.
"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 there is always an audit trail and my office will do everything in its power to uncover it."
The ICO investigation began in December 2008, and the watchdog plans to publish a report detailing how the case unfolded on its web site in due course.
The fine follows a ruling against Surrey County Council, which was fined £120,000, the largest to date, for emailing personal data to the wrong recipients on three occasions.
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