More than 130,000 Telstra customers’ personal information has been made public online. According to the company, there was no cyberattack involved; rather, the issue was caused by a “misalignment of databases” as stated by Telstra. The incident is the most recent in a string of massive, unauthorized exposures of personal information in Australia.
The telecom giant confessed that the information, which included the names, addresses and phone numbers of customers who had requested that their information be kept confidential, had been published on the White Pages and Directory Assistance Services websites. Telstra’s routine auditing procedures revealed the data leak.
Following the finding, Telstra began contacting affected consumers and is providing free identity theft protection services. The corporation claims to have since deleted the consumer information from public view.
“Protecting our customers’ privacy is absolutely paramount, and for the customers impacted we understand this is an unacceptable breach of your trust,” Telstra executive, Michael Ackland, said. “We’re sorry it occurred, and we know we have let you down.”
The improper management of consumer data follows data breaches at Optus and the health insurer Medibank, where weak security procedures enabled hackers to acquire the personal information of thousands of customers.