Cop and telecoms staffer charged in data breach case

| 09/02/2023

(CNS): A police sergeant who was suspended from the RCIPS last year and a former employee of a local telecommunications company have both been summoned to appear in court next week in relation to a data breach investigated by the Office of the Ombudsman (OMB), the RCIPS has confirmed. The former telecoms worker is alleged to have unlawfully shared a customer’s phone number with the sergeant, who is accused of using it for personal reasons. The officer has been charged with misconduct in public office and unlawfully obtaining personal data. The telecom worker faces one count of unlawfully disclosing personal data.

The OMB initiated their investigation after a complaint was lodged by the woman whose phone number was allegedly unlawfully obtained in November 2020. The OMB determined that all the necessary policies in relation to the law were in place at the company in spite of the personal data breach. Given the nature of the breach, the ombudsman asked the police to conduct a criminal investigation.

“It is important for all public and private sector employees to be aware that access to, and the processing of, an individual’s personal data must be done fairly and lawfully and only for the purposes for which that data was provided,” Ombudsman Sharon Roulstone said. “As this case demonstrates, there are potentially serious consequences if personal data is not managed in accordance with the Data Protection Act.”

For more information about the law visit the OMB website or call 946-6283.

Data protection complaints or reports of breaches can be made on the website, at the OMB office or via email at

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