Australian banks are being hit with a massive fine for allegedly breaching banking data protection laws.
Key points:AAP/Fairfax Media analysis shows Australia’s banks have been hit with $1.1 billion in fines from the Department of Finance and Consumer Affairs (DFAT)Source:AP/Finance AustraliaSource:Fairfax mediaA spokesman for the Department said the bank is “committed to meeting our obligations under the Data Protection Act” and is currently undertaking an investigation into the breaches.
“It is our view that a breach of this nature is not indicative of a systemic problem or a significant breach of the data protection obligations of any other bank, and we will be taking the necessary action,” the spokesman said.
The Department’s chief information officer, Mike Hickey, said the breaches were not widespread and the banks had been given clear guidance about the way they were supposed to manage their systems.
“The breaches are a small percentage of the total number of breaches and we believe that all banks in Australia are taking steps to ensure that their data protection responsibilities are in compliance with the Data Privacy Act,” Mr Hickey said.
“As the department continues to work with affected banks and regulators to address these breaches, it will be sharing information about the breaches that have occurred.”‘
We have taken every reasonable step to ensure we have a safe and secure system’The Department has previously said that a “small percentage” of breaches were related to banking systems.
But in a statement to the ABC, Mr Hicky said there had been “several instances” in which banks had failed to take steps to protect against data breaches.
“In some instances, we have taken steps to mitigate the risks associated with breaches,” Mr Wooten said.
In this case, he said that banks were required to notify customers of breaches within seven days.
“Banks are also required to report breaches within 15 days of notification to the Department, and the Department has taken every appropriate step to mitigate those risks,” he said.
Mr Hickey confirmed the department was working with the banks to investigate breaches, but declined to comment further.
Topics:business-economics-and-finance,bankers,consumer-fraud,business-news,industry,banking,government-and/or-politics,australiaContact Paul Wootens