The government will overhaul the nation’s cybersecurity and privacy laws as the Optus hack of almost 10 million people reveals how metadata laws can be used to let telecommunications firms bank huge amounts of customers’ personal data.
Indicating fines for major data breaches will form part of the government’s response to the hack, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said there needed to be “clear consequences” when companies failed to appropriately secure customer data.
“Clearly, we need better national laws after a decade of inaction to manage the immense amount of data collected by companies about Australians,” Albanese told parliament yesterday.
“We are dealing with this issue, we know that it does need to be dealt with and we know that this has been an absolute priority for Australians.”
Optus last night revealed that almost 37,000 Medicare numbers were exposed in the hack, with 22,000 of those expired, and said affected people could replace them through Services Australia.
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