AT&T has disclosed that SSNs (Social Security numbers) and various other personal data for an unspecified number of customers and clients were exposed in April.
AT&T said that client info was pilfered by an unknown party to gain entry into smart phones. The private data included SSNs and call duration records. These were broken into by sources that exist outside AT&T’s jurisdiction.
April was the month during which this big botch-up occurred. At least 500 clients have been affected by this breach of privacy and confidentiality so far. The company has sent letters of apology and explanation to its customers who have borne the brunt of the burden.
"Employees of one of our service providers violated our strict privacy and security guidelines by accessing your account without authorization," the company said in a letter to affected customers. "AT&T believes the employees accessed your account as part of an effort to request codes from AT&T than are used to unlock AT&T mobile phones in the secondary mobile phone market."
So far things are not looking too good. Legal action may lie in the cards for those who have been at the receiving end of this treatment due to the leniency and flaws in AT&T’s structure.
The lock on smart phones that AT&T offers also has an unlock feature in case of special requests by outsiders. This was precisely the amenity that malfunctioned and caused such an extreme fallout.
AT&T has refrained from mentioning what is to become of its smart phones now that the theft has already occurred. It was originally one of the servers of AT&T that had been responsible for this glaring error and glitch in the system. And now the company is making all kinds of excuses yet this world is not a one-way street.
"We recently learned that three employees of one of our vendors accessed some AT&T customer accounts without proper authorization," the company said in a statement.
"This is completely counter to the way we require our vendors to conduct business. We know our customers count on us and those who support our business to act with integrity and trust, and we take that very seriously. We have taken steps to help prevent this from happening again, we are notifying affected customers, and we have reported this matter to law enforcement," it said.
The people affected are up in arms. This sort of stupid flaw could prove fatal. It shouldn’t have been perpetrated in the first place. The administration and security personnel are responsible for the tragic disconnect and they are the ones who will have to fill the losses incurred by the clientele.
Some may see this as a blame game that is being played out by the customers. Yet the fact of the matter is that the staff and personnel at AT&T should have been more careful. Since such agencies are trusted with the vital information of their customers, they too have a duty to protect this implicit data from prying eyes at all costs. It is hoped that such a glitch in the system will be avoided in the future.