Updated TalkTalk and its parent company Carphone Warehouse have been slapped by the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) for failing to look after customers' data properly, in breach of the Data Protection Act.
An investigation by the ICO revealed both companies were "opening accounts in the wrong names and passing inaccurate information to credit reference agencies and debt collection agencies". Both companies also failed to respond to requests from individuals regarding stored data.
While the failures caused "real damage and distress to customers", the slap from the ICO is just a warning shot, giving Carphone Warehouse and TalkTalk the opportunity to sort things out before there's real trouble.
The ICO has issued an Enforcement Notice against the companies. Failing to comply with such a notice is a criminal offence, so it seems likely they'll clean up their procedures before that happens. ®
In a statement Carphone Warehouse tells us they are very sorry, and it was all a long time ago when demand for TalkTalk exceeded their expectations, and they're going to work with the ICO to fix everything post haste.