Verizon looks to have an embarrassing situation on its hands as an ex-employee of the largest United States carrier was arrested for making some extra money on the side by selling customers’ private call records, AP reports.
According to authorities who brought their case against Daniel Eugene Traeger, the former Verizon employee sold customer records from 2009 to 2014. He did this by logging into a Verizon computer system and used “Real Time Tool,” a Verizon system that gives you a phone’s location by pinging the device.
It is unknown whether Traeger sold records belonging to customers living in Alabama or elsewhere, since he was based around Birmingham. Court records also did not shed any light on how many were sold or what happened to the customer records after their sales. What is known, however, is that Traeger organized the data into spreadsheets, which were then sent to a private investigator.
“Between April 2009 and January 2014, the defendant was paid more than $10,000 in exchange for his provision of confidential customer information and cellular location to the PI, an unauthorized third party,” according to court records.
Traeger eventually pleaded guilty to unauthorized access to a protected computer, a felony that carries up to a five-year prison sentence. However, prosecutors requested a lesser sentence, since Traeger agreed to a plea and accepted responsibility for his actions.
Verizon likely is not a fan of what Traeger did, though the carrier did not respond to a request for comment. The case appears to be more of an outlier, but the last thing Verizon needs is more negative press — the company looked bad in the eyes of at least a few after recent comments that lambasted people’s need for unlimited data and chastised heavy unlimited data users.