AU: Telstra mail bungle breached Privacy Act
Josh Taylor reports:
Telstra breached the Privacy Act by sending out tens of thousands of letters to the wrong addresses, according to the Australian Privacy Commissioner, which led to the personal information of about 60,300 Telstra customers being sent to the wrong people.
In October last year, the Australian Communications and Media Authority and the Australian Privacy Commissioner Timothy Pilgrim were called in by Telstra to investigate a mail-merge error that led to 220,000 Telstra letters being sent out to incorrect addresses. The letters contained information including customer name, number and telephone plans. Over 23,000 of these letters contained silent phone numbers.
In his report today, Pilgrim found that contrary to Telstra’s original estimate of 220,000 letters being incorrectly addressed, just 60,300 letters were sent in total. Of these letters, 26 per cent (or 15,400) were mailed back unopened. Pilgrim said that although the Privacy Act had been breached, it was a one-off incident.
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