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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10915
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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My former employer (A Data Processor) illegally accessed my

Customer Question

My former employer (A Data Processor) illegally accessed my personal mobile Phone account on a Web Portal called My O2 Business.

They are an O2 Centre of Excellence partner, who are given access to all of their customers on the on-line portal for the purpose of tariff reviews.

I was not a customer of the COE, having signed my last Contract with O2 directly, but for some reason, the visibility remained, and I was dismissed by the company as a result of them accessing my phone records.

I have put in several SAR to O2 to get the times and dates my account had been accessed in the last 6 months of last year, but each request was refused. The agreed to respond to a request under RIPA but when the Police pursued this, they denied the request and the Police had to get a Court Order.

O2 have now responded to the Court Order, and I have seen the evidence of my account being accessed, both before and after I was dismissed in October 2013.

The Police are pursuing the Board of Directors for DPA and Computer Misuse offences.

I have written to each of the Directors of Telefonica O2 in the UK and expressed my concerns with regard to the breaches in my personal data from one of their 'trusted partners'. I am not expecting a response, as they have been extremely unhelpful to date.

As O2 are the Data Controller in this instance, would any action I take be against O2, or my former employer or both. I want to be able to claim for damages and distress.

Any advice would be appreciated.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.

Alex Watts :

Hello my name is Alex and I will help you with this. Please note that I am a working Solicitor and may be on and offline as I have to attend Court and meet with clients, even at weekends. As such you may not get an instant response when you reply as this is not an ‘on demand’ live service, but rest assured I will be giving your question my immediate attention upon return. There is no need to wait here, you will get an email when I reply.

Alex Watts :

Did O2 just allow the system to be access, but it was the employer doing the accessing please?

Alex Watts :

How was the employer able to access your phone records, would they have not been kept private on the O2 website?

Alex Watts :

Or can the employer access anyone's on this portal ?

JACUSTOMER-xvlr301f- :

Yes, O2 allow all their trusted partners to accesses the web portal, and it should just show their own customers, identified by a Rev Share or Dealer Code. O2 themselves did not access my account, but one of their Centre of Excellence Partners did.

JACUSTOMER-xvlr301f- :

My mobile phone record should have been kept private.

JACUSTOMER-xvlr301f- :

My former Employer can access any of its customers records by this portal. However, they are only supposed to access it for the purpose of quarterly reviews or at the customers request.

Alex Watts :

So your former employer could in theory access any o2 customer details?

Alex Watts :

Have you complained to the ICO yet please?

JACUSTOMER-xvlr301f- :

Yes, I complained about Telefonica O2 and about my former employer but these were about them not responding to SARs.

Alex Watts :

You should complain to the ICO about O2 and your former employer in terms of the breach of the DPA

JACUSTOMER-xvlr301f- :

My Complaints have been recorded against each customer, but no further action has been taken. I have complained again to the ICO last week about them accessing my phone records and O2 allowing the illegal access but they seem more interested in education than taking action at this moment.

Alex Watts :

You could also issue proceedings under Section 13 of the DPA which states:

JACUSTOMER-xvlr301f- :

Each Company, not customer

Alex Watts :

An individual who suffers damage by reason of any contravention by a data controller of any of the requirements of this Act is entitled to compensation from the data controller for that damage.

Alex Watts :

An individual who suffers distress by reason of any contravention by a data controller of any of the requirements of this Act is entitled to compensation from the data controller for that distress if—

(a)the individual also suffers damage by reason of the contravention, or

(b)the contravention relates to the processing of personal data for the special purpos

Alex Watts :

I would be minded to issue proceedings against both the employer and O2

Alex Watts :

You can put your former employer as First Defendant and O2 as second

JACUSTOMER-xvlr301f- :

And can I take action against my former employer whilst they are under Police Investigation for the same offence?

Alex Watts :

However my view is in reality it is the former employer who has breached the DPA mainly because they accessed information for an improper purpose

Alex Watts :

It is not as if O2 acted improperly, they just provided the system.

Alex Watts :

Yes you can issue proceedings as this is a civil matter.

Alex Watts :

Police is criminal

Alex Watts :

But it would be a Part 8 claim so you couldnt use money claim online

Alex Watts :

It would be form N208 http://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/courtfinder/forms/n208-eng.pdf

Alex Watts :

you need to complete

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Alex Watts :

If this answers your question might I ask you to rate my service today, if the system wont let you please let me know

Alex Watts :

If you need more help please click reply.

JACUSTOMER-xvlr301f- :

My former Employer has indemnified O2 against any breaches, so is it worth pursuing both? I found employment within a few weeks, but I have suffered a £28,000 pa pay reduction. What losses can I claim for? I am taking them to an industrial tribunal for Wrongful and Unfair Dismissal, and this goes to Court 2nd and 3rd June. Could I start proceedings against them while this is ongoing?

Alex Watts :

I see. In that case I would claim from the former employer

Alex Watts :

You can claim for any losses flowing as a result of the breach.

Alex Watts :

You can issue proceedings for breach of the DPA as this is nothing to do with the ET proceedings.

Alex Watts :

Does that clarify?

JACUSTOMER-xvlr301f- :

Yes, thank you.

Alex Watts :

Great. If I could invite you to rate my answer today - thanks!

Alex Watts :

If this answers your question could I invite you leave feedback on my service which I hope has been excellent today, if you need more information or help then please click reply.

Please remember that I am always happy to help if you have future questions, even if I am in Court I can normally respond within a few hours. For future information, please start them with ‘For Alex W’.

Please bookmark my profile if you wish for future help: http://www.justanswer.co.uk/law/expert-alexwatts/

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