Telia Hands Over Customer Data to Law Firm Even Though It Didn’t Have To

  • A Swedish court rejected a law firm’s request for the ID details of 55 of Telia’s subscribers, yet the ISP still handed them over.
  • The firm says this was due to a mistake and apologized, but the law firm hasn’t clarified what they plan to do.
  • There’s a lot of copyright-trolling and pirate-hunting taking place in Sweden, and ISPs generally support it.

Telia, one of Sweden’s largest Internet Service providers, has handed over the identification details of 55 of its subscribers to a law firm that targets individual content pirates. The problem with the particular case is that the Stockholm-based law firm, ‘Next Advokater KB,’ was actually denied the relevant request in the Patent and Market Court that reviewed the case. However, Telia was apparently confused and still disclosed the details. More specifically, the court approved the disclosure of ID data of some customers, but not all.

The details of the 55 subscribers that shouldn’t have been shared with ‘Next Advokater’ are a mistake that can put these people in legal trouble, but the law firm has declined to comment on what they’re planning to do with this information. Possibly, they will send them a settlement letter trying to convince them to pay their way out of trouble. It is also quite likely that these people have already received settlement letters, and some of them may have even paid them.

Source: Google Reviews

Telia has contacted these 55 people and apologized for the dire mistake, but it is unclear if the ISP is planning to do anything that goes beyond that. The firm also stated that they are taking action to ensure that the same error won’t be repeated in the future. But, again, this is not alleviating the problem of the unlawful information disclosure for the affected individuals. And finally, there’s also the matter of breaching GDPR here, being an EU entity, so Telia should be called to pay fines for that mistake.

As we have seen in reports that came out in Sweden last year, Telia is one of the worst ISPs in terms of disclosing the ID details of their customers to pirate-hunting groups, together with Com Hem and Telenor. This practice is anticipated as an invitation to the so-called “copyright trolls,” and this is reflected in the rapidly growing number of IP address requests and the associated lawsuits submitted in the country.

We don’t know how a court would respond in a case against a subscriber who had their ID details unlawfully shared with ‘Next Advokater,’ but our guess is that nothing would change. After all, the law firm can always pretend that they sourced this information otherwise.

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