Optus data breach: regulatory changes announced, but legislative reform still needed

6 Oct 2022

Dr Brendan Walker-Munro writes for The Conversation

In response to Australia’s biggest ever data breach, the federal government will temporarily suspend regulations that stop telcos sharing customer information with third parties.

It’s a necessary step to deal with the threat of identity theft faced by 10 million current and former Optus customers. It will allow Optus to work with banks and government agencies to detect and prevent the fraudulent use of their data.

But it’s still only a remedial measure, intended to be in place for 12 months. More substantive reform is needed to tighten Australia’s loose approach to data privacy and protection.