US President-elect Barack Obama’s personal cell phone account has been unauthorisedly accessed by some employees of Verizon Wireless, the company said.
Verizon Wireless, which is the number two cell phone service provider in terms of number of subscribers, has apologised for this breach on Thursday and put all those employees who unauthorisedly accessed the personal cell phone account of Obama, on immediate leave.
“We apologise to President-elect Obama and will work to keep the trust our customers place in us every day,” the company President and CEO Lowell McAdam said in a statement. “This week we learned that a number of Verizon Wireless employees have, without authorisation, accessed and viewed President-elect Barack Obama’s personal cell phone account,” the statement said.
The account, however, has been inactive for several months, Verizon Wireless said adding that the cell phone instrument on the account was a simple voice flip-phone, not a BlackBerry or other smart phone designed for e-mail or other data services.
“All employees who have accessed the account — whether authorised or not - have been put on immediate leave, with pay. As the circumstances of each individual employee’s access to the account are determined, the company will take appropriate actions,” it said.
“Employees with legitimate business needs for access will be returned to their positions, while employees who have accessed the account improperly and without legitimate business justification will face appropriate disciplinary action,” Verizon Wireless said.