Phone Company Charged With Illegally Gathering Personal Information On Customers - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Phone Company Charged With Illegally Gathering Personal Information On Customers

Published January 24, 2011

The Data Protection Authority (DPA) has filed charges with the police against the telecommunications company Síminn, accusing the company of illegally gathering personal information on phone users of competing companies in order to build their business.
The charges came to light after competing telecommunications company Nova filed a complaint with the DPA. Their complaint contends that Síminn went through what are known as Call Detail Records (CDRs), essentially an automated log of what numbers call to where and for how long. These records are kept in centralised phone centres.
Singling out the phone numbers at competing phone companies that were used the most or had the longest phone calls, sales departments at Síminn would then call these people, offering them to switch to Síminn for their phone or internet service.
The problem is, CDRs are considered confidential information and the DPA considers the method “an extensive marketing campaign aimed at other companies” which employed “an unnatural use of personal information which may not be used in a market context,” Eyjan reports.
As such, Síminn could be in violation of the Law on Privacy and the Treatment of Personal Information.

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