Breach, Data Security

Australian telcom fined less than $10k for privacy violations


An Australian telecommunications and media company was fined $9,161.18 (AU$10,200) for violating privacy laws as a result of a data breach affecting 15,775 of its customers.

After a joint investigation by the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner and the Australian Communications and Media Authority, a privacy watchdog, the entities found that Telstra was in violation of the Privacy Act, the National Privacy Principles, and the Telecommunications Consumer Protections Code, according to a report by The Australian.

The breach was discovered in May 2013 and included customer names, telephone numbers, as well as home and business addresses. The information – which affected any Telstra customers from 2006 to 2009 – could be found via Google searches from February 2012 to May 2013.

Telstra announced that there were at least 166 instances where the sensitive data was downloaded.

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