ACMA warns Telco Service Holdings

The company breached customer privacy by sending a PDF of 150 invoices in an email to 150 customers

Sydney-based Telco Service Holdings has received a formal warning from the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) after the company accidently sent a PDF containing the details of 150 customer invoices to some customers via email.

According to ACMA, the PDF was sent to 150 customers on 9 September 2012. The error was caused by a billing software glitch which Telco Service Holdings fixed on 11 September 2012.

On 17 June 2013, ACMA received a complaint from a Telco Service Holdings customer about the September 2012 incident. According to the customer, they received an email with a PDF attachment instead of receiving their August 2012 mobile phone invoice. This sparked an investigation by ACMA in September 2013.

An ACMA spokesperson said that in an email dated 22 July 2013 and a letter dated 10 September 2013, Telco Service Holdings provided the ACMA with information about the incident and its response.

In a ruling released today, ACMA found that Telco Service Holdings breached the Telecommunications Consumer Protections Code rules covering the protection of customer privacy.

The TCP Code states that a supplier "must ensure that a customer’s or former customer’s personal information is protected from unauthorised use or disclosure and dealt with by the supplier in compliance with all applicable privacy laws."

In making the ruling, an ACMA spokesperson said it took into account that the underlying cause of the problem was an error in a billing system which was "quickly rectified and that there has been no recurrence of the problem."

Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick

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Tags ACMAAustralian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA)privacy breachesTCP codeTelco Service Holdings

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