According to CNN, a Verizon source confirmed Friday that Verizon Wireless had fired employees connected to the breach of records connected an old cell phone used by Obama earlier this year. CNN reports that the former employees positions were part of the team that takes care of customers and had no access to Obama’s text messages or voicemails.
CEO and President, Lowell McAdam, released a statement on Thursday confirming that employees had accessed an old account belonging to Barack Obama. McAdam detailed that it was not a BlackBerry or smartphone capable of receiving email but a “simple voice flip-phone” and said that the employees in question had been suspended with pay. Mr. McAdam did not say whether or not guilty persons would sacked but did say those with legitimate reasons to access Obama’s records would be reinstated.
The initial reports spelled trouble for Verizon with regards to privacy. Naturally, customers figured if several employees could access Obama’s records, seemingly without permission, there was nothing to stop employees from viewing the records of others.
While CNN’s source says Verizon “considers the matter closed,” we’d still like to see some kind of statement from the company about what happened. The fact that Verizon is keeping quiet and considers the problem taken care of might send the wrong message to customers. If the company was to release a statement saying the appropriate action had been taken against employees found to have accessed Obama’s records without authorization, Verizon users would understand that the company doesn’t tolerate any sort breach in customer privacy. We’ve contacted Verizon to ask whether or not the company will be releasing a statement and will update when they get back to us.
UPDATE: Verizon responded to our questions as to whether or not the company plans to release a statement detailing the action taken against specific employee and if the company really considers the case closed. Verizon Wireless declined to comment on any of the above. Go figure.