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Telstra Customer Information Made Public Online; Breach of Privacy

Telstra has again stirred a privacy controversy by making personal information belonging to 1,500 of its BigPond customers online for everyone to see.

According to an article on The Australian, the privacy breach involved a spreadsheet which contained the names and email address of 1,500 customers.

The spreadsheet, which has now been taken offline, also contained support problem details, ticket numbers and the job description of the troubleshooting done for customer problems. The company said it had taken the BigPond website an hour after being informed about the security breach to pull the information.

"We have no reason to believe it contained passwords or credit or financial information. Our customers' privacy is paramount and the site was disabled within an hour of Telstra being made aware of it," a spokesperson for the company said in a statement.

Apart from informing its customers, the company said it also plans to inform the Privacy Commissioner, the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman and the Australian Communications and Media Authority about the breach.

The breach comes after the details of 800,000 customers were accidentally made available online. The Privacy Commissioner plans to release the results of the investigation conducted on earlier breach next month.