View all newsletters
Sign up for our free email newsletters

Fighting for quality news media in the digital age.

  1. Media Business
December 3, 2014

‘Potential remedies’ being looked at by News UK over Vodafone’s handover of 1,700 staff phone records to police

By William Turvill

News UK is looking at “potential remedies” after discovering Vodafone mistakenly provided the Metropolitan Police with the phone records of 1,757 employees.

Vodafone, for now, remains the provider for the publisher’s work phone accounts after a “senior executive” apologised to the News UK and News Corp chief executives.

Staff were told last week that the records given to the Met relate to staff using company mobile phone between 2005 and 2007.

This means that most of the journalists working on The Sun, now-defunct News of the World, Times and Sunday Times are likely to have been affected.

According to an email from News UK chief executive Mike Darcey the data, held by the company's main telecoms provider Vodafone, was "inadvertently disclosed by them to the Metropolitan Police Service last February in response to a specific request under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act".

The data will include details of numbers called by staff members, and calls received, so could compromise confidential journalistic sources.

The request was made by officers from Operation Elveden, the investigation into payments by journalists to public officials, and – according to Darcey – they were seeking details of the outgoing calls made by one member of staff.

Content from our partners
Publishing on the open web is broken, how generative AI could help fix it
Impress: Regulation, arbitration and complaints resolution
Papermule: Workflow automation for publishers

The Met Police held on to the data for seven months before handing it back and is understood to have placed it in a spreadsheet for analysis.

Asked by Press Gazette yesterday at a media briefing on Times Newspapers finances whether Vodafone remains the provider for work phones, News UK director of communications Guto Harri said: “I think as things stand it is…

“I know a senior executive of Vodafone has personally apologised both to Mike Darcey, the CEO here, and Robert Thomson, the CEO of News Corp.

“And there may be potential remedies we may have which we can say we are exploring without pre-empting any outcome.”

Email pged@pressgazette.co.uk to point out mistakes, provide story tips or send in a letter for publication on our "Letters Page" blog

Select and enter your email address Weekly insight into the big strategic issues affecting the future of the news industry. Essential reading for media leaders every Thursday. Your morning brew of news about the world of news from Press Gazette and elsewhere in the media. Sent at around 10am UK time. Our weekly does of strategic insight about the future of news media aimed at US readers. A fortnightly update from the front-line of news and advertising. Aimed at marketers and those involved in the advertising industry.
  • Business owner/co-owner
  • CEO
  • COO
  • CFO
  • CTO
  • Chairperson
  • Non-Exec Director
  • Other C-Suite
  • Managing Director
  • President/Partner
  • Senior Executive/SVP or Corporate VP or equivalent
  • Director or equivalent
  • Group or Senior Manager
  • Head of Department/Function
  • Manager
  • Non-manager
  • Retired
  • Other
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
Thank you

Thanks for subscribing.

Websites in our network