6 August 2021

The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) is investigating Singtel Optus Pty Ltd (Optus) under the Privacy Act 1988.

The Commissioner is authorised to investigate an act or practice that may be an interference with the privacy of an individual or a breach of the Australian Privacy Principles under section 40(2) of the Privacy Act.

The investigation follows preliminary inquiries by the OAIC into data breaches involving publication of Optus customer details in the White Pages, when individuals had asked for their details not to be published.

The public disclosure of personal information against the wishes of individuals may have the potential to cause harm.

The OAIC’s investigations can determine whether such matters involve systematic issues that can be prevented by ensuring the right practices are in place. This can set a benchmark for all organisations and build trust in the community.

In line with the OAIC’s Privacy Regulatory Action Policy, no further comment will be made while the investigation is ongoing.