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Optus cyberattack must be a wakeup call for the Albanese Government

The cyberattack on Optus, involving millions of accounts, is extremely serious. 

In discussions with me today, Optus reiterated that customers should be on the lookout for any unusual or fraudulent activity and any notifications which look odd or suspicious. 

For months, the Opposition has been calling on the Albanese Government to deliver tougher online privacy and data protection laws. 

While the cause of this massive data breach is under investigation including assessing whether Optus customers have suffered any harm, this incident must serve as a dramatic wakeup call for the government. 

In July, I joined with Shadow Attorney-General, Julian Leeser, to call on Labor to adopt the Coalition’s Online Privacy Bill. 

Earlier this month, I joined with Mr Leeser and Shadow Minister for Cyber Security and Countering Foreign Interference, Senator James Paterson, to condemn the Albanese Government for its failure to strengthen online privacy and data protection laws. 

While the government has initiated a Department of Home Affairs review into data security on social media platforms such as TikTok, this won’t be completed until next year.  This is all too little, too late. It is also concerning that Labor’s Communications Minister, Michelle Rowland, has shown no interest in this issue.   

Rather than kick the can down the road, Labor must urgently consider all regulatory options and act immediately to improve the privacy and safety of Australians online. 

22 September 2022 

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