Aus Companies May Soon Have To Dispose Of Certain Customer Data Thanks To The Optus Leak

Aussie companies could face law reforms designed to stop them holding on to customer data in the wake of that massive Optus data breach. That certainly seems like a good call!

The Albanese Government is set to review our existing privacy laws and potentially introduce new reforms very soon — maybe even this year.

One of the key issues is companies holding onto consumer data for a really long time. For example: tens of thousands of former Optus customers were affected by the hack, not just current ones.

Attorney General Mark Dreyfus criticised companies who held onto personal data like passports for extended periods of time. Just delete it, babes.

“For too long, we’ve had companies solely looking at data as an asset that they can use commercially,” he said, per The Sydney Morning Herald.

“We need to have them appreciate very, very firmly that Australians’ personal information belongs to Australians.”

According to The Guardian, Dreyfus also said that the more data companies store, the more potential problems could occur.

“Obviously the more data that’s kept, the bigger a problem there is about keeping it safe, the bigger a problem there is about the potential damage that’s going to be done by a huge hack [like] that’s occurred here,” he said.

PM Anthony Albanese appeared on the 5AA morning show on Thursday, where he spoke about the breach.

He described the situation as a “wake-up call to corporate Australia”.

In case ya missed it, one of the latest updates is that 14,900 existing Medicare ID numbers and 22,000 expired Medicare ID numbers were revealed in the hack. In a pretty dogshit move, Optus also took a whole five days to let the Government know about the Medicare leak. SMH.

Optus will be footing the bill for affected users’ new driver’s licenses and possibly new passports too.

Albanese confirmed the government would look at privacy laws, and potentially increase fines for companies.

Radio presenter Leon Byner asked Albanese about Dreyfus’ comments, specifically the idea that companies should be forced to get rid of customer data if they don’t need it any more.

“It seems to me that that’s a pretty common sense proposal,” Albanese said.

Anthony, on this we 100 per cent agree.