Cosmote in privacy dispute

Mobile phone company Cosmote has been charged with harboring a criminal and withholding information after failing to supply an Athens prosecutor with the details of a customer alleged to have sent threatening text messages to another user. According to the charges, both the prosecutor and the police’s electronic crimes squad had asked OTE telecom’s mobile phone branch to lift privacy protections rules and give them the suspect’s details. But Cosmote is alleged to have refused. The company says that it referred the request to the Communications Privacy Protection Authority (ADAE) and was advised not to divulge any of its customers’ details. The company has written to the interior and justice ministers as well as the Supreme Court for clarification because the prosecutor insists that the firm must hand over customers’ details when they are suspected of committing a crime, even though this is considered a misdemeanor.