Employee Sells Data From 65,000 Online Bingo Players

Employee Sells Data From 65,000 Online Bingo Players

Written by: ava carson on 12/11/2011 21:00

It’s one thing to try and make a few bucks but for Marc Ben-Ezra, temptation and greed led him to illegal confiscation of online bingo customers’ personal data.

Using the alias Malcom Edwards, Ben-Ezra retrieved 65,000 records from the marketing service Cashcade Limited for Foxy Bingo for $2,200. It was discovered when emails were received by representatives of the gaming industry.

Cashcade Limited contacted the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and a complete investigation was conducted. The investigation revealed data was also sold from 404 Gala Coral in 2008 by Ben-Ezra.

The suspect admitted to authorities that while he worked in the gaming industry in Israel part of the data were retrieved and not an uncommon practice. He had since moved to London and sold the information to pay off gambling debts.

“This case shows that the unlawful trade in personal information is unfortunately still a thriving and lucrative activity. Mr Ben-Ezra sold people’s personal details on an industrial scale, making in the region of £25,000 ($39,000 or 29,000 EUR) at the expense of the tens of thousands of bingo players whose privacy he compromised, and who he exposed to the nuisance of being approached by rival betting websites and, at worst, the risk of identity theft,” said Information Commissioner, Christopher Graham.

“I am grateful to Cashcade Limited and Gala Coral for their work in exposing this unlawful practice. However, we still don’t have a punishment that fits the crime. The ICO continues to push for the government to activate the 2008 legislation that would allow courts to consider other penalties like community service orders or the threat of prison.”

Ben-Ezra was sentenced to three years of conditional discharged and ordered pay $3,300 for selling personal information.

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