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January 17, 2008
UK phone retailer the Carphone Warehouse had its wrists slapped by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) this week for breaching the Data Protection Act.
An investigation by the ICO revealed that Carphone Warehouse and sister company TalkTalk had been opening customer accounts in the wrong name and passing inaccurate information on to credit reference agencies and debt collection agencies.
Security failings also led to customers being able to view other user account details online and the retailer also failed to respond to requests by individuals on information held about them.
The ICO has now ordered Carphone Warehouse and TalkTalk to improve their data protection practices or face prosecution for failing to meet the basic principles of the Data Protection Act.
Mick Gorrill, assistant commissioner at the ICO, said: “The Data Protection Act gives us all important rights, including the right to correct inaccurate information and to find out what information an organisation holds on us. Organisations that process personal information must comply with the Act and, where we find that this is not the case, the ICO will take enforcement action.
“Carphone Warehouse and TalkTalk’s use of inaccurate and incorrect personal data has caused real damage and distress to customers,” Gorrill said.
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