Verizon snoops peek at Obama's cell phone records

Verizon snoops peek at Obama's cell phone records

Summary: Nosy Verizon employees improperly accessed and peeked at Barack Obama's personal cell phone records, the company said in a statement acknowledging the privacy breach.In the statement, Verizon Wireless chief executive Lowell McAdam apologized to the President-elect and vowed that the errant employees will be disciplined.

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Verizon snoops peek at ObamaÂ’s cell phone recordsNosy Verizon employees improperly accessed and peeked at Barack Obama's personal cell phone records, the company said in a statement acknowledging the privacy breach.

In the statement, Verizon Wireless chief executive Lowell McAdam apologized to the President-elect and vowed that the errant employees will be disciplined.  The Associated Press reports no voicemails or e-mails were accessed in the breach.

From Verizon's statement:

All employees who have accessed the account — whether authorized or not — have been put on immediate leave, with pay. Employees with legitimate business needs for access will be returned to their positions, while employees who have accessed the account improperly and without legitimate business justification will face appropriate disciplinary action.

[ SEE: Sarah Palin’s Yahoo account hijacked, e-mails posted online ]

Obama's addiction to a BlackBerry on the campaign trail is well know but, as the New York Times reports, the President-elect may have to give up the device when he takes office next January.

Over the course of the election season, several people close to the political scene suffered privacy or security breaches.  They include Sarah Palin, Bill O'Reilly, "Joe the Plumber," and both Obama and McCain campaigns.

More from Larry Dignan.  Also see Techmeme discussion.

Topics: Mobility, Collaboration, Hardware, Security, Verizon

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8 comments
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  • Big privacy issue

    While phone company employees can access the call records freely, leaking it to the public is a great concern, whether you're somebody or not. Such records must be treated just like HIPAA...
    adelacuesta
  • Imagine who is looking at your cloud data! (nt)

    (nt)
    bjbrock
  • Tip on how to eliminate this threat...

    You can call VZW and have a passcode placed on your account (rather than verify your last 4 of your SSN), so that a rep cannot access your account without the passcode being supplied.
    JT82
    • Naw!

      They already use the passcode on everyone's account. Just call them and ask questions about your account... they won't speak with you unless you give them your passcode. The passcode is to prevent othersiders from accessing your account info... this issue relates to VWL employees inside!

      I realize that Obama is elected President, but that should be no reason VWL treats him royalty. If my records were accessed (which I am sure they are all the time), I wouldn't hear a PEEP from VWL. In fact, they have some of the snottiest customer reps working the phones... I'll do anything before having to call their skanky butts!
      DarbyOhara
  • What does it matter? Phone companies have immunity anyway. [nt]

    [nt]
    olePigeon
    • immunity for lawsuits regarding govt snooping

      because the telcos did as the govt ordered them to do.

      Why should they be held liable when the govt orders them to do something? Surely you realize the consequences if they disobey?
      otaddy
  • But it is not made public!

    So where is the content? Palins was posted in the internet, so why isn't Obama's? Must have something to do with favoritism towards liberals!
    JohnnyBee
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