Mr138-10:acma And Aust Privacy Commissioner To Examine Botched Telstra Mail Out

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27th October 2010, 04:37pm - Views: 1667

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27 October 2010

ACMA and Australian Privacy Commissioner to

examine botched Telstra mail out

The Australian Communications and Media Authority and the Office of the

Australian Privacy Commissioner are looking into the circumstances of a botched

mail out by Telstra to its customers.

The mail out resulted in around 220,000 letters with incorrect addresses being sent

to Telstra customers. The letters contained the name, phone number and telephone

plan of other customers.

‘The ACMA’s main priority initially is to limit the damage to consumers caught up in

this mail out and where possible to ensure remedies are quickly implemented,’ said

ACMA Chairman, Chris Chapman.

‘I have spoken with Telstra and they have assured us they will fully co-operate with

the ACMA and other regulatory agencies to minimise the fall out for customers,’ Mr

Chapman said.

The Australian Privacy Commissioner, Mr Timothy Pilgrim, has advised that his

Office will commence an investigation into the matter. 

‘While I welcome Telstra’s prompt advice that this incident occurred and that it has

taken steps to contact affected customers, I am concerned about the amount of

personal information that has been disclosed which includes potentially sensitive

information such as silent numbers,’ Mr Pilgrim said.

‘Customers expect their personal data to be protected by organisations and

incidents such as this are very serious. For this reason my Office will be opening an

investigation into the matter today.’

The ACMA and the Office of the Privacy Commissioner are working together to

ensure a co-ordinated response. 

Telstra has established a hotline for its affected customers on 1800 307 987.

‘The Australian Communications Consumer Action Network has also been in

communication with ACMA and the Office of the Australian Privacy Commissioner

and both agencies are working with them to assist consumers who have been

affected by the mistaken mail outs,’ Mr Chapman said.

Issues around poor telco customer service have been central to the ACMA’s

Reconnecting the Customer inquiry. Hearings for this inquiry are occurring in

Sydney today and Melbourne on Friday, and other major centres in November. The

ACMA is also working with the industry to review the telecommunications consumer


Further details regarding the inquiry can be found here

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ACMA media contact: Donald Robertson, Media Manager, on (02) 9334 7980,

0418 86 1766 or

Office of the Australian Privacy Commissioner media contact: Ms Leila

Daniels, Deputy Director Corporate and Public Affairs on 0407 663 968 or

The ACMA is Australia’s regulator for broadcasting, the internet, radiocommunications and

telecommunications. The ACMA’s strategic intent is to make communications and media work in

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