- by theguardian
- 20 Mar 2023
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade says about 100,000 passport numbers were released in the Optus breach but that customers do not actually need to replace their passports, citing crackdowns on the use of those documents for identity verification processes.
Nearly a month on, Dfat said Optus had advised that about 100,000 passport numbers had been released in the data breach and that affected customers were being contacted by the company.
But despite concerns raised over crime, the Dfat spokesperson sought to allay fears.
For customers still wishing to get a new passport, Dfat reiterated that Optus would reimburse costs but that people would need to pay the fees upfront and seek reimbursement.
An Optus spokesperson also noted that government advice was that passports did not need to be replaced.
Optus could not immediately provide any further information on the reimbursement process. The company would also not confirm whether it would only pay for standard processing fees of $308 for 10 years or if it would also cover the extra $225 for priority processing of passports.
Optus could not confirm whether any data breach victims had received reimbursement for passport fees yet, but Guardian Australia understands no customers have been repaid.
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