Tens of thousands of Optus customers have had their personal details accidentally released online.
Optus has sent letters to nearly 50,000 customers advising them that their name, phone numbers and addresses were mistakenly published in the White Pages, operated by Sensis, The Age reported.
“During a recent audit, we discovered a system error that resulted in your name ... and phone number ... being automatically listed by our systems,” said Optus’ letter published by affected customers.
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Customers have been advised that their details were listed online at whitepages.com.au, potentially listed in the printed version of White Pages, listed with operator directory assistance, and possibly listed in other directories.
According to Optus customers who published the telco’s letter to them, Optus has since contacted Sensis to remove their details from the White Pages website, operator-directory assistance and any future versions of the printed White Pages.
“However, your details may still remain printed in older versions of White Pages,” the letter said.
Optus is “very sorry for this mistake”.
“We’re contacting all affected customers and we’ll continue to conduct audits to ensure that your personal information is treated with the greatest care.”
“Optus has notified and apologised to all affected customers.”
In any case, according to an Optus spokesperson, many of the published details were already online.
"The majority of the affected customers’ details were already listed with Sensis prior to joining Optus," an Optus spokeswoman told Yahoo Finance.
But Sensis denied responsibility, stating: “This is an Optus issue.”
One Facebook user took to social media to warn others about the data leak.
“They say it was a system error, (lets just blame the computer again and not the idiot on big $$$'s pressing the buttons),” the user wrote on Facebook.
“Government agencies, private business and even loyalty programs all collect our personal info and say they will treat it with the upmost respect, and they want us to not only believe them but to trust them as well.
“This letter proves no one can be trusted with your personal info.”
Are you one of the 50,000 Optus customers affected?
Optus customers who want more information or support should contact the major telco on 1800 234 020 on weekdays between 9am and 5pm.
Yahoo Finance has reached out to Optus for comment.
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