Privacy Advisor

Global Privacy Dispatches- UK- Carphone Warehouse

February 1, 2008

By Eduardo Ustaran

Tough Enforcement Action Requires Swift Corrective Measures

The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has taken enforcement action against Carphone Warehouse, and its sister company TalkTalk, for breaches of the UK Data Protection Act. The enforcement action followed an investigation into several complaints concerning the way in which both organisations processed and stored personal information.

The investigation revealed that Carphone Warehouse and 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 had led to customers being able to view other customers' account details online. In addition, the ICO found that the companies had not responded to requests by individuals for information held about them. Both companies now must implement corrective measures within 35 days and, if they fail to do so, will face criminal prosecution.