Field & Game Australia

Apology for data breach

The following statement has been issued today by the Victorian Department of Land, Water and Planning about the unintentional release of personal GMA customer data.

Recently, the Department of Environment Land Water and Planning’s (DELWP) Customer Service Centre unintentionally shared personal data of some Game Management Authority (GMA) customers.

Due to human error, GMA customer data was mistakenly sent to eight individual customers as an email attachment in the process of GMA customers’ renewing their game licenses.

DELWP has contacted the eight customers and is confident that the shared data has either been deleted or was never received due to the file size.

Following advice from the Privacy and Data Protection Commissioner, DELWP has contacted the customers affected by the data breach to apologise and let them know of the steps taken to delete the data.

A DELWP investigation shows this information included GMA members’ name, address and game license category.

In consultation with the GMA and the Office of the Commissioner for Privacy and Data Protection, a number of immediate steps have been identified and taken to address this issue including:

•        Suspension of the use of email to communicate GMA Game License renewals

•        Complete review of license renewal processes, with responsibility escalated to senior customer Service Centre management

•        A complete review and additional training for customer service staff about the handling of customer data and privacy requirements under the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014

•        Notifying Victoria Police as a precautionary measure

•        Notifying the Privacy and Data Protection Commissioner to ensure transparency and best practice is followed across DELWP.

DELWP has also established several new processes to reduce the risk of this occurring again.

DELWP  understands the serious nature of this matter and are conducting a full review of Customer Service Centre processes via an independent investigator.

The DELWP Customer Service Centre provides a range of contact support to a variety of Victorian Government agencies and departments, which includes call centre and license renewal services on behalf of the GMA.

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