Deutsche Telecom investigating the sexual life of job applicants

By EDRi · June 3, 2009

This article is also available in:
Deutsch: [Deutsche Telekom untersucht das Sexualleben von Stellenbewerber |]

According to German newspaper Handelsblatt, Deutsche Telecom was keeping
records about personal details of job applicants, including details about
their sexual life. Similar records on potential employees were also kept in
Macedonia, Croatia, Slovenia and Hungary.

An anonymous security consultant who used to work for Deutsche Telecom
stated for the German newspaper that this was actually a common practice of
the company.

According to Handelsblatt, the German Telecom hired private detectives from
Germany who were collecting data about potential employees by eavesdropping
phone conversations, investigating their bank accounts and intimate, sexual
life, explaining that this way they could know who they were dealing with.

This was revealed soon after Deutsche Telecom confirmed the information that
it was spying on the directors in its companies and on journalists, in order
to determine where the information was leaking from.

The company announced that it did not order regular reports on the
private life of the potential employees. The people from Macedonian
Telecommunications say that this was not, is not and will not be a practice
of their company.

“These allegations are absolutely wrong, unserious and unsubstantiated.
Such practice is prohibited by the Law on personal data protection.
Everybody knows what information should be submitted by the applicant; first
and last name, address, education, previous work experience, recommendations
and a motivation letter” claim the representatives of T-Mobile and T-Home,
companies owned by Deutsche Telecom.

“All of the employment applications can be found on the company’s
website” say the representatives from Macedonian Telecom.

The representatives of the Croatian T-Com stated that they did not
know anything about the spying, and if the investigation proves that this
really happened, the responsible persons will have to bear the consequences.

According to the reports to which the newspaper had access, a woman
that was applying for a job in the Croatian telecom – a branch of DT, is
described as an experienced sexual partner with a rich imagination. The
partners of the candidate allegedly said that she was a “female predator”
with a big sexual urge and that she prefered older men. In another report,
which was allegedly prepared by the German counterintelligence service BND,
a candidate is described as an alcoholic, and another one as a corrupted old

Deutsche Telecom claims it did not order reports with personal data of
the candidates.

“Deutsche Telecom is not analyzing the private life of the applicants.
DT doesn’t need any information about the private life of the candidates”
stated Philip Blank, the company’s spokesman.

According to AFP, this is one of the several scandals that broke out
in Deutsche Telecom and the company also admitted to have spied on
journalists and members of the supervisory board in order to find the source
of the media. DT also admitted that in 2006 it was checking the bank
accounts of more than 100 000 workers to determine whether any of them were
involved in corruption.

Deutsche Telecom investigating the sexual life of job applicants

(contribution by Kire Dimik – EDRi-member Metamorphosis – Macedonia)