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Privacy Watchdog Probes Telstra Privacy Leak

By Oonagh Reidy | Monday | 20/05/2013

Privacy Commissioner confirms it is investigating Telstra after privacy leak, revealed last week.


The Privacy Commissioner Timothy Pilgrim today confirmed that his Office is investigating Telstra's latest privacy leak which saw the publication of customer personal details online. Details of the leak emerged last week.  

Pilgrim has also asked Telstra for "further information on the incident, including how it occurred, the information compromised and what steps they have taken to prevent a reoccurrence," he confirmed in a statement.

The Privacy Commissioner will also look at whether Telstra's practices were consistent with the Privacy Act 1988. 

From 2014, the Commissioner will have powers to impose fines of up to $1.7m to companies who breach privacy legislation, it warned today. 

The telco is currently investigating the incident and are contacting affected customers.  

"Telstra has briefed our office about this incident and advised that the documents are no longer publicly available." Pilgrim also confirmed.  

The PC will also look Telstra's practices were consistent with the Privacy Act 1988 at the time of the incident, and also warned businesses of the importance of "ensuring appropriate levels of security are in place to protect personal information" held. 

Businesses may well want to clean up their act as from 12 March next year, the PC will have powers to impose fines of "up to" $1.7 million and conduct Performance Assessments of private sector companies to determine whether they are handling personal information in accordance with the new Australian Privacy Principles. 

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