Vodafone Customers To Claim $4m Privacy Breach
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Security breaches are a telco-wide problem, however, As Optus and Virgin confirm they are stepping up data protection.

The alleged privacy breach currently under investigation by the Privacy Commissioner could mean mobile giant face litigation and a $4m bill from affected consumers.

The security breach occurred when Vodafone accidently publishing customers billing information and records on its website, and protected only by a single password which changed monthly.

 It comes as 12,500 of its customers are also takingseperate litigation proceedings against the carrier over service problems experienced at the end of last year.

The security lapses may have infringed provisions from both the Privacy Act and Telecommunications Act, according to Australian Privacy Foundation’s Nigel Waters.

However, Vodafone are not the only telco to have violated privacy regs or the only one to be currently under investigation, he says.

“There are still a very large number of privacy complaints being handled by the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman as a quicker and more effective route than the Privacy Commissioner, who has not used Privacy Act powers enough in the telco space.”

Both Optus and Telstra have both said they have rigorous security protection policies, with the former admitting it has stepped up its systems in the wake of the information leaks.


“While Optus believes the customer information it holds is adequately protected, we are conducting a review of our systems and processes to ensure our customers’ information is secure following reports of a breach of Vodafone’s systems,” said a company spokesperson.

Virgin Mobile also confirmed they are reviewing their security processes.

“It would be silly not to review processes and go through them with a fine tooth comb in the wake of what has recently with Vodafone,” the company said.