ComReg raps Eircom over privacy breach

23 Jun 2006

Ireland’s largest operator Eircom has been notified by the Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg) that it is in breach of telecoms regulations. It is alleged Eircom retail sales agents were able to obtain other operators’ customer account numbers from the company’s wholesale database.

ComReg said Eircom has one month to prove it has taken steps to resolve the matter.

The regulator announced that in a month’s time if it believes Eircom is not complying with regulations that it will apply to the High Court for an appropriate order, “including a financial penalty”.

ComReg said that in early May it received allegations that sales agents for Eircom’s retail division were able to obtain other operators’ customers’ account numbers directly from Eircom’s wholesale systems.

It said that a subsequent investigation it carried out on Eircom yielded evidence confirming the allegation.

The regulator said that having direct access to this information would give Eircom an unfair advantage over competitors in winning customers.

ComReg said that this information is not meant to be made available to any retail operator, including Eircom retail, unless the customer provided that information themselves.

By John Kennedy