OAIC seeks details on Woolworths privacy snafu

Privacy watchdog asks questions after Big W gift card misstep

© Tktktk | Dreamstime.com - Woolworths Supermarket Australia Photo

© Tktktk | Dreamstime.com - Woolworths Supermarket Australia Photo

The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) has approached Woolworths for details of a reported privacy misstep by the supermarket chain.

Fairfax reported yesterday that the retailer had unintentionally shared a spreadsheet with links to electronic gift cards purchased via Groupon.

The spreadsheet also contained the names and email addresses of customers.

The document was reportedly emailed to more than 1000 recipients. It included links to 7941 Big W electronic gift cards, allowing recipients of the spreadsheet to purchase items with them.

Groupon had offered a 7.5 per cent discount on the face value of $100 and $200 Big W gift cards.

"Woolworths takes the concerns of its customers and data security seriously," a spokesperson for the supermarket said.

"On Saturday we were alerted to a technical fault with an e-gift card offered to customers. These e-gift cards have been cancelled and affected customers have been provided with new e-gift cards for use in-store.

"Woolworths apologises for the inconvenience this has caused our customers."

"We will assess the information provided by Woolworths to determine what further action may be required," a spokesperson from the OAIC said.

"If people affected by this incident have any concerns about their personal information, they should contact Woolworths in the first instance," the spokesperson said.

"If they are not satisfied with any response they receive they can contact our Enquiries line on 1300 363 992 to get more information about how the Privacy Act might apply and how they can make a complaint. "

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Tags privacywoolworthsBig WOffice of the Australian Information CommissionerOffice of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC)

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