Privacy commissioner investigates Vodafone

Australian Privacy Commissioner Timothy Pilgrim has said that he will investigate the allegations that personal information of Vodafone customers had been exposed.

Australian Privacy Commissioner Timothy Pilgrim has said that he will investigate the allegations that personal information of Vodafone customers had been exposed.

Vodafone fell into hot water following allegations that criminals had been sold access to its sensitive customer database who planned to use the information, which includes voice and SMS logs, to blackmail customers.

It was also alleged that other people had obtained the internal log-in to check their spouse's communications.

"Our office takes all allegations of privacy breaches very seriously. All organisations should ensure the security of their customers' personal information or risk breaching the Privacy Act and causing serious customer dissatisfaction and possible loss of business as a result," Pilgrim said.

The first step was to find out whether Vodafone had breached the Privacy Act, Pilgrim said.

"I am concerned about the amount of personal information that may have been disclosed, which could include sensitive information. For this reason I have opened an own motion investigation into the matter today."

Pilgrim said he had spoken with Vodafone CEO Nigel Dews, who had promised full cooperation.

The privacy commissioner urged customers who believed their privacy had been breached to contact Vodafone first. If they were not satisfied then they could contact the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner.

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