Thousands of Optus customers mistakenly have details posted in online and print white pages
Thousands of Optus customers have mistakenly had their cell phone numbers and home addresses published in Sensis White Pages, although they have specifically requested that they not be.
And on Monday, the country’s telecommunications regulator said it was also forcing Optus to conduct a compliance audit due to “anomalies” in data.
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The leak came to light after customers started receiving a letter this month apologizing for the error and detailing the steps the telecommunications giant took to correct it.
Although the online entries have since been removed, the information remains in printed form.
Around 50,000 customers are believed to have been affected by the leak, which was discovered during a routine audit.
It is understood that the error occurred because the details were already listed and were not removed when customers changed providers for Optus and checked the box asking that they not be listed.
“The majority of the details of affected customers were already listed with Sensis before joining Optus,” said the spokesperson.
“As a priority, Optus arranged for Sensis to remove customer details from their online website directory, carrier directory support and all future print editions of the directories.”
The spokesperson said the company notified and apologized to all affected customers.
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In its letter, Optus told its customers that their contact details are:
“Listed online at whitepages.com.au;
“Potentially listed in local printed white pages;
“Listed with operator directory assistance; and
“Maybe listed in other smaller online directories. “
He warned that although the details have been removed from online support and directory assistance, the information may still be printed.
Meanwhile, the Australian Communications and Media Authority excluded Optus from its latest 2018-19 Telecommunications Complaints Handling Report, which was released on Monday.
He said the phone company had been shut out due to “several changes to its data submissions and ongoing data anomalies.”
ACMA said it is now forcing Optus to conduct an external audit for compliance with ACMA’s record keeping rules.
The ACMA report states that telecom operators received 1.4 million complaints in the 2018-2019 fiscal year.