by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
mobile bills, privacy


Woman Sues Mobile Phone Provider, Because Consolidated Bill 'Revealed' Her Affair

from the first-world-problems dept

Ah, modern technology. Michael Geist points us to the story of a woman in Canada who is suing her mobile phone provider, Rogers, for supposedly "revealing" the fact that she was having an affair. Basically, she had a mobile phone account with Rogers under her maiden name, which she used to have long chats with someone she was having an affair with. Her husband had set up the family's cable TV service, also from Rogers. At one point, he called Rogers to add internet and home phone service to the account, and Rogers then mailed a "global" bill that included all accounts. In looking over the bill, the husband noticed the long phone calls all to one number, and called it, and got the guy to admit to the affair. Following that, he left the wife.
Now the woman, whose husband walked out, is suing the communications giant for $600,000 for alleged invasion of privacy and breach of contract, the results of which she says have ruined her life.
I don't know, but I'd have to say that, perhaps, having the affair was the key problem here, rather than the bill. Hell, the husband could have just as easily opened the original mobile phone bill which was sent to the same house. It doesn't say so, but it seems likely that when the guy called to add services, Rogers asked if he wanted the bills consolidated and the guy just said yes.

Furthermore, the whole thing gets more bizarre later, when the story also claims that the "jilted third-party" later got access to the woman's voicemail and "harassed" her and "taunted" her (ex-)husband. And, on top of that, the article later notes "the wrongdoing that occurred in 2007 reoccurred" because the phone was still being billed to her husband's account in 2009. This part is left vague, but, it makes you wonder why two years after her husband had left her, she hadn't set up separate phone service for herself.

I'm sure it sucks to have all that happen, but it seems like a pretty big stretch to blame your mobile phone provider for the affair you had that caused your spouse to leave you...

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  1. identicon
    byteme, 19 May 2010 @ 10:05am

    In the US, a spouse whose name is not directly part of an account has no more rights to information than a stranger on the street. AFAIK, most states require a spouse to be on any mortgage undertaken during the marriage and some states may require the same for a car title, but that's it. Any other accounts do not recognize the bonds of marriage with respect to information access. After all, how could any company know if formerly married individuals recently got divorced?

    The harm caused by the breach of contract/privacy should be taken into account. What if they were divorced over abuse and Rogers released the ex-wife's information to the ex-husband, allowing him to find out her current (previously unknown to him) address? Then he goes to her place and kills her. Should Rogers only be held accountable for a simple "clerical error?"

    Again, I'm not condoning her actions and if this hadn't happened she would likely have been found out some other way. But, Rogers must be held accountable.

    On another note, I wonder how many folks, adulterous or not, have cancelled their Rogers accounts for fear that Rogers will be loose with their private information.

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