Authorities in Australia demand that Optus cover the costs of a significant data breach.

Authorities in Australia demand that Optus cover the costs of a significant data breach.

Australians in the millions are dealing with the exposure of sensitive financial information such as passport details and driver’s licenses. This data was exposed due to a cyberattack suffered by Optus, a Singapore-based company. Optus had, around two years ago, said that altering the way businesses managed consumer data will lead to compliance cost reduction.

Though experts may agree on this aspect, Australia’s state governments as well as at the center are now pressuring the telecom company to pay. The company is expected to foot the costs of reissuing passports and driver’s licenses of every individual impacted. This is easily one of the worst data theft incidents faced by the country.

The massive data loss has also prompted lawmakers to tighten Privacy Laws in the country, and this has especially to do with data retention. Australia’s legal experts want the country to adopt the same standards as enacted by the EU. There is no doubt that the cost of implementing EU-like regulations will be high, but it will be well worth it in the long run.

Companies that fail to protect consumer privacy will have to pay millions in fines if the new regulations are enacted. This is a great idea and an incentive to ensure compliance and result in improved controls. This is the opinion of Tony Song who is part of the University of New South Wales. He also said that the data breach could have theoretically still happened, but if GDPR-type laws were in place, Optus would have had better systems. Australia’s PM and Attorney General have promised to introduce measures to support this pretty soon.


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