In October 2019, Optus advised almost 50,000 customers that their personal information, including names, addresses and phone numbers, were mistakenly released to a third party, resulting in those personal details being published online, and potentially published in print directories and republished by other online directories and data services. In some instances, it appears likely that individuals affected who sought to keep their contact details and addresses private will be put to significant inconvenience as a result of the breach.
Where this kind of publication has resulted in losses or harm to individuals, they may have rights to seek redress from the parties involved, including by seeking compensation.
Slater and Gordon’s class actions team is advising individuals who have been affected by this breach about their rights, and the steps that they can take to protect their position. Although our investigation into this issue is at a preliminary stage, it appears likely that this privacy breach will at least result in a request to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner that the matter be pursued as a representative complaint on behalf of all affected individuals. A representative complaint under the Privacy Act is a mechanism very similar to a class action in a court proceeding, that allows cases affecting large groups of people to be pursued in common, rather than requiring hundreds or thousands of individual complaints to be lodged.
Slater and Gordon is the only specialist class action practice in Australia to have represented large groups of claimants in representative privacy claims, and has significant experience acting for consumers in large-scale disputes, complaints and class actions.
If you have been affected by this privacy breach, you can register your details to be kept informed about the progress of our investigation, and to receive advice and updates about your options, by completing the form below.
Submit your details
Submit your contact details to be kept up to date about the class action investigation.
Your details will remain confidential and your employer will not know you have contacted us. Leaving your details does not oblige you to participate in the class action investigation going forward.
Thank you for your enquiry in relation to the potential class action. One of our team members will be in contact with you.