Mission Australia massive privacy breach on Mid North Coast


MISSION Australia has accidentally leaked the personal details of more than 1400 housing tenants from the Mid North Coast in what is being called a massive privacy breach.

In an email viewed by News Of The Area, Mission Australia attached a document containing the names, addresses, emails and phone numbers of tenants to an email addressed to residents warning of upcoming severe weather.

One tenant who asked to remain anonymous said the privacy breach could have severe implications for residents who have escaped domestic violence or child abuse if the personal information was to be accessed by perpetrators.

News Of The Area spoke to two tenants about the privacy leak, both of whom were upset about the breach.

“I don’t have any issues with hiding from people, but there’s going to be a lot who do,” said one tenant.

“If it leaks out, it’s going to be really really bad, there could be perpetrators who are out there that have not been jailed and are in the housing system somewhere and might be able to find people through this.”

In a followup email, Mission Australia asked recipients to delete the leaked information and to confirm when they had done so.

“I think it’s disgusting to be honest,” said another tenant.

“Myself and a few other people I know on the list have escaped domestic violence or violent situations that have people looking for them to harm them,” they said.

Mission Australia’s General Manager Davina Lormas did provide an apology in the followup email but one tenant said the response was not good enough and that legal action was being considered.

“A very simple fix to this, that would have prevented this, is if Mission Australia had followed privacy laws,” they said.

“With documentation like that, that has that many people’s details on it, (sic) it should have been password protected.”

In a statement provided to News Of The Area, Mission Australia apologised for the breach.

“Mission Australia is deeply sorry that this has occurred,” the statement said.

“We are in the process of contacting all affected tenants to provide support as needed.

”As always, we encourage our tenants to discuss anything with us.

“We are working through regulatory requirements concerning the incident and have taken and will continue to take steps to improve and strengthen our internal controls to ensure this does not occur again in the future.”

It remains unclear how many tenants received the leaked information and if any further breaches have occurred.

If you are concerned about the privacy breach, you can contact Mission Australia on 1800 269 672.



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