Telecom NZ probing alleged user data breach

Dylan Bushell-Embling
17 Jan 2011
Telecom NZ said it had suspended the login account to its Wireline customer database that had fallen into the hands of a competitor accused of abusing the details.
In a statement published today, the operator said it was investigating allegations of fraudulent access to its customer details by ISP Slingshot, which competes with Telecom NZ for broadband customers.
The NZ Herald on Sunday claimed Slingshot had been using information gathered from the Wireline database to help poach customers from Telecom NZ.
Unnamed former staff of the company's sales contractor, Power Marketing, admitted to accessing Telecom NZ customer details as part of their sales practices, even though they knew they were not allowed to.
The database, which has details of an estimated 2.1 million customers, informed sales agents of the plans customers were signed up for and how much they paid per month.
Unlike the alleged Vodafone Australia security breach across the pond, there is no suggestion that customers' credit card details or call logs were exposed.
In its statement, Telecom NZ Retail CEO Alan Gourdie said if its internal investigation confirms the allegations, the operator will “take all appropriate steps to pursue this matter.”


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