Australia

End of ‘hide and seek’ as Optus hands over data to government

Optus has handed over data to Services Australia almost a fortnight after a massive data breach was revealed.
Labor frontbencher Bill Shorten confirmed the federal government agency had received the data on Tuesday and was assessing it to see what could be drawn from it.

“We shouldn’t have to play hide and seek and wait to day 13 to get material,” he told reporters in Canberra.

“What it’s about is the horse’s bolted. We’re trying to close the gate.

“All I’m motivated by is … to get the information so I can stop hackers from hacking into government data and further compromising people’s privacy.”

How many Medicare and passport details were part of the Optus leak?

Mr Shorten said Optus had revised its estimates to 50,000 compromised Medicare records and 150,000 passports.
He called for the company to be more forthcoming with information.
Optus’s Singaporean parent company Singtel said it had engaged lawyers in case it was subject to any class action over the hack, which involved the personal details of more than 10 million customers being compromised.
In a statement to the Singapore stock exchange on Monday, Singtel said it had not received any legal notice of a class action but any such move would be “vigorously defended”.

The company also said it wanted to clarify media reports about potential fines or other costs relating to the incident, which happened on 22 September.

“Singtel considers these reports speculative at this juncture and advises that they should not be relied upon,” it said.

How has Optus reacted to the data breach?

Optus on Monday revealed more than two million customers had their identification documents exposed in the data breach.
The telecommunications giant has launched an independent review conducted by consultancy firm Deloitte of the circumstances surrounding the data hack.
Embattled Optus chief executive Kelly Bayer Rosmarin recommended the review, saying the company was committed to rebuilding trust with customers.
Several government ministers have criticised the company’s response to the incident and its failure to promptly advise customers or the government what personal details had been compromised.

Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus has said he will review Australia’s privacy laws and tighter protections could be brought in by the end of the year.

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