ABC Shop data moves to offshore cloud

ABC Shop data moves to offshore cloud

Summary: The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) has made the decision to host its ABC Shop Online site in the Amazon Web Services' cloud, which will see some customer data move offshore into Singapore from next week.


The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) has made the decision to host its ABC Shop Online site in the Amazon Web Services' cloud, which will see some customer data move offshore into Singapore from next week.

The ABC Shop has sought to email all who have used the service to inform them that some of their personal information will be moved offshore, starting 29 October.

Details to be moved includes a shopper's name, address, contact phone numbers, usernames and passwords, as well as order details.

The ABC told ZDNet Australia in a statement that the decision to move data offshore came as part of its online overhaul.

"We used to host that information ourselves within ABC Shop Online," the ABC said in a statement. "We've been upgrading the service, and we wanted a better and quicker site. One option was to host it here; the other is to use the cloud. We decided to use the cloud, and, with that, some of the data is hosted offshore."

The broadcaster has assured customers in its email that credit card details won't be sent offshore.

Users can object to their data being moved offshore by replying to the email, or by contacting a special hotline.

The ABC's full email reads:

Dear Valued ABC Shop Customer,

We are changing the ABC Shop Online service. As part of the upgrade, the ABC is changing the way in which it stores its data from 29 October 2011. This data may include personal information of our customers, including name, gift recipient names, home address, delivery address, contact phone number, email, ViP membership number, gift messages, gift voucher details, order details (ie, products purchased), user name, password for access to ABC Shop Online. Please note this does not include customers' credit card details.

To upgrade and maintain the ABC Shop Online and the services we offer you, we need to be able to disclose personal information to our third-party service providers so that they can assist the ABC to run ABC Shop Online and carry out the services that ABC Shop Online offers. Some of these third-party service providers are based overseas in locations such as Singapore. Other locations will be advised on the ABC Shop Online privacy policy from time to time. The ABC takes all reasonable steps to ensure that any personal information of our customers disclosed to third-party service providers is kept secure . Any personal information will continue to be used only by ABC Shop Online.

As a valued ABC Shop customer:

If you agree to the disclosure of your personal information held by the ABC to the ABC's third-party service providers outside Australia, then you do not need to do anything.

If you do not agree, then please respond to this email with the word "unsubscribe".

ABC Shop Online's privacy policy is available at

If you have any questions relating to the changes to our service as outlined above, please call 1300 360 111, Monday to Friday between 9.00am and 5.00pm (AEDST).

Yours sincerely,

The team at ABC Shop Online

Topics: Cloud, Government AU, Privacy, Security

Luke Hopewell

About Luke Hopewell

A fresh recruit onto the tech journalism battlefield, Luke Hopewell is eager to see some action. After a tour of duty in the belly of the Telstra beast, he is keen to report big stories on the enterprise beat. Drawing on past experience in radio, print and magazine, he plans to ask all the tough questions you want answered.

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  • My problem with this is that customers have to 'opt out'. If you do nothing the ABC will share your personal details (but not, apparently, your credit card details) with the world.
    I bet the ABC didn't consult the Australian Privacy Commissioner on this.
  • Once the data is offshore there is no "Australian Privacy" as then Singapore ( foreign government ) has the data.
    But then considering how the soft Australian Government has allowed the Singapore to buy up as much as they want - I wonder if its time we become run by Singapore rather than the dim wits in Canberra.
  • I think if you push Amazon you will find this data (thus your personal details) will travel further around the globe than Singapore. In a DR event, Amazon will relocate this service to either a US or European based Data Centre - they won't allow you decide which one. You never really know where our data is with a true cloud service!