Australia’s government responded to a data breach at Optus by preparing regulations to improve detection of online fraud to better protect consumers.
Communications Minister Michelle Rowland stated the government plans to amend telecoms regulations to improve coordination on cyberattack detection and prevention between operators, financial institutions, and federal and local governments.
Rowland added the proposed amendments were designed with strong privacy and security safeguards to ensure only limited information can be made available for designated purposes. “This will enable Optus, the financial services sector and relevant agencies to work together more effectively to implement enhanced monitoring and safeguards to protect customers affected by the breach.”
The plan will allow operators to temporarily share approved government identifier information including drivers licence and passport numbers of affected customers with regulated financial service entities to enhance monitoring and safeguards.
In a separate statement, the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority explained it is working with the government, regulators and other agencies on closer coordination and a controlled process of data sharing.
The cyberattack on Optus last month exposed the personal information of up to 7 million customers, though the operator noted payment details and account passwords had not been exposed, and its mobile and internet services ran as normal.