This archive contained personal information, and visitors were usually registered in a activity log. This was used by the Statfjord management to track down the quartet. They were given warnings and told they would be moved to another installation. Three of the four were on sick leave for eight months after the incident.
The operations vice president for Statfjord was reported to the police by the Statoil Workers Union (SaF), part of the Confederation of Vocational Unions (YS), for breaching Norway’s data protection and working environment laws. In addition, the Norwegian Data Inspectorate reacted sharply over the procedure adopted by the Statoil management on the grounds that it was illegal to use information from activity logs as the basis for disciplinary action against employees. Nor had Statoil ever applied for permission to maintain any kind of activity log.
The YS and the workers won a complete victory. All four employees were found not guilty of the charge that they had accessed a database illegally, and got their jobs back. The Statoil management was forced to apologise for what had happened.
Dagens Næringsliv, 5 March 1999. “Statoil politianmeldt”.
Various other articles in the press.