President-elect Barack Obama’s personal cell phone account has been improperly accessed by Verizon Wireless employees, the carrier confirmed.
Reports about the improper access surfaced yesterday, while Verizon first contacted the Obama transition team Wednesday.
“This week we learned that a number of Verizon Wireless employees have, without authorization, accessed and viewed President-Elect Barack Obama’s personal cell phone account. The account has been inactive for several months. The device on the account was a simple voice flip-phone, not a BlackBerry or other smartphone designed for e-mail or other data services,” Verizon Wireless President and CEO Lowell McAdam said in a statement.
“All employees who have accessed the account – whether authorized 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. 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.”
“We apologize to President-elect Obama and will work to keep the trust our customers place in us every day,” the statement concluded.
No billing information or voice mails were compromised, according to a CNN report.
Obama is known as an avid BlackBerry user but was observed using multiple phones during his presidential campaign. He may relinquish all personal use of a cell phone for security reasons while president. It is not known which company or companies supply wireless service to the campaign and the transition team.
Filed Under: Infrastructure