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Australian Government - Office of the Australian Information Commissioner - Home

Telstra Data Breach

20 May 2013

I have opened an investigation following an incident involving the publication of documents online containing the details of some Telstra customers.

Telstra has briefed our office about this incident and advised that the documents are no longer publicly available. Telstra is currently investigating the incident and have started to contact affected customers. I have asked that Telstra provide me with further information on the incident, including how it occurred, what information was compromised and what steps they have taken to prevent a reoccurrence. As part of my investigation I will look at whether Telstra’s practices were consistent with the Privacy Act 1988 at the time of the incident.

I would like to remind businesses about the importance of ensuring appropriate levels of security are in place to protect the personal information they hold. This is a requirement under the Privacy Act. Further, from 12 March 2014, I will have the power to take enforcement action that could result in fines of up to $1.7 million and conduct Performance Assessments of private sector organisations to determine whether they are handling personal information in accordance with the new Australian Privacy Principles (APPs). It is crucial that businesses maintain security systems and are vigilant when it comes to handling personal information.