Thursday, August 24, 2006

AT&T sues data brokers for duping them into giving away confidential customer data

How's that?

AT&T is suing unnamed data brokers (yes, they don't know who they are) for duping the telecommunications giant into giving away confidential customer data. They claim that the data brokers profited off selling the information to third parties. They also claim that the brokers duped them by pretending to be real customers. Now they want any profits the brokers got to be "returned" to AT&T.

Is this the pot calling the kettle black or what? Isn't AT&T the defendant in a case involving the EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation) whereby they're accused essentially of stealing customer data and giving it to the feds? I know, they're not stealing the data. The customers gave it to them. They had to in order to get AT&T's services.

But isn't that kind of what AT&T did for the data brokers? Just gave them the customer data. The data brokers didn't take or steal the information. AT&T gave it to them.

Was there fraud involved? Of course. But isn't there an equally moralistic issue going on when your customer has every reason to believe that his data isn't getting into anybody's hands but his own provider when in fact the exact opposite is happening?