Phone Records Unlawfully Accessed by Work Colleagues claims s business woman.
The High Court has heard claims from a businesswoman that her phone data and LinkedIn account were unlawfully accessed by her former work colleagues.
Unauthorised Use of Personal Data
The woman is seeking various orders, including for damages, over alleged unauthorised use of her personal data on dates between 2016 and 2017 by the defendants.
These claims have been denied by the defendants, who issued counter-claims. All three parties were directors and shareholders of an international logistics company, Expert Air.
The court heard how differences between the parties had risen in 2017, leading to the resignation of the complainant as a director. She then entered into an agreement to sell her shareholding to the defendants for €326,000. However, she claims that the defendants refused to pay her some €100,000 of the agreed sum.
Citing the reason for their refusal, the defendants alleged the complainant had breached the settlement by not abiding with a non-solicitation of business clause in the agreement when leaving the company. The non-payment of the €100,000 went before an independent adjudicator, who ordered that the complainant be paid the outstanding amount owed to her.
Unlawful Accessing of Phone Records
As a result of the adjudication hearing and the information put before it, the complainant claims the defendants unlawfully accessed her Vodaphone account phone records. She then made a complaint to the Data Protection Commission (DPC) about her phone records being accessed, who upheld the complaint.
She further claimed to have discovered evidence that the defendants unlawfully accessed her private LinkedIn account, allegedly in an attempt disrupt her in a new position that she had accepted upon her departure from Expert Air. She claims that these actions by the defendants amount to a breach of data protection laws, as well as a gross invasion of her privacy.
In contesting the allegations, the defendants argued that the 2017 agreement between the three parties resolved all known and unknown claims between them. The counter-claim launched by the defendants asserts that the complainant’s action is a malicious abuse of court process and has no cause of action against them.
They additionally seek damages against the complainant, who opposes the counterclaim.
In dismissing a preliminary application of the defendants, Mr Justice Senan Allen stated that he did not believe having the preliminary issues dealt with in a separate hearing would ultimately save on court time and costs of the action.
The dispute is due to return before the courts at a later date.
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