Yesterday three representative of the mobile phone companies gave evidence to the Home Affairs Select Committee, chaired by Keith Vaz MP.

They explained that they were first contacted in December 2005 about one potential hacking victim (presumably a member of the Royal Household) and later in 2006 were provided by the police with a list of suspect telephone numbers. It appears that they then provided call data to the police in respect of these suspects, as a result of which they appear to have identified about 120 victims or potential victims.

Although each of the telephone companies appear to have identified potential victims, only O2 took steps to warn the victims that they may have subject to unlawful telephone hacking. Vodafone appear to have given general advice to potential victims about the need to ensure security for their pin numbers.

All of the phone companies explained that the systems used now have been improved but nevertheless accepted that a number of employees have been disciplined or prosecuted for misusing private information/ data protection offences.

In addition the phone companies confirmed to the Select Committee that contrary to previous statements made by the police, the Police did not ask them to notify victims.

The session may be viewed on Parliament TV here.