Australian Government asks Optus to pay fees for customers involved in data breach

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The Australian government has demanded that Optus pay the passport application fees for everyone affected by last week’s massive data breach affecting millions of Australians.

The Australian government is also calling for stricter data protection laws in the wake of the breach that compromised the personal data of 9.8 million Optus customers.

In a letter to Optus CEO Kelly Bayer Rosmarin, Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Penny Wong formally requested that the telco cover the cost of new passports.

“As you will appreciate, this serious incident creates a risk that the personal information of current and former mutual customers of the Australian Passport Office and Optus will be subject to exploitation by criminals. There is no justification for these Australians or taxpayers more broadly to bear the cost of obtaining a new passport,” Senator Wong wrote.

The government says the cyberattack, which compromised various customer data including dates of birth, email addresses and passport numbers, should never have happened and that Optus should pay to fix the situation.

Optus has no further information on how the breach occurred or what systems were compromised. According to local reports, an online API (application programming interface) was accessed without authentication or authorization.

The sources for this piece include an article in ZDNet.

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