Vodafone AU breached prepaid verification rules

12 Jan 2018

Australian telecoms regulator ACMA has secured a court enforceable undertaking from Vodafone Australia to improve its prepaid customer verification processes after an investigation found the company to be in breach of telecoms regulations.

Australian operators are required by law to verify the identity of prepaid customers before activating a service, in order to help law enforcement and national security agencies obtain accurate information about the identity of customers during investigations.

But an ACMA probe found that Vodafone Australia had failed to verify the identity of at least 1,028 customers before activating their mobile services.

Between January 2015 and January 2016, following changes to Vodafone's internal IT systems, the operator had been allowing prepaid customers to self-select online that their identity had been verified in store, without any further check that this verification had occurred.

With the undertaking Vodafone has agreed to conduct a review and risk assessment of any future proposed changes to IT systems and processes, conduct regular training programs and hold compliance audits every six months, with the results to be reported to ACMA.

“Telcos must check that changes to their IT systems don’t run the risk of contravening legal requirements,” ACMA acting chair James Cameron said.

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