Optus has asked the Federal Court to block the release of a report Deloitte carried out into the telco’s massive data breach in September last year.
Updated 1/9/23: Clarified the role of Optus CEO Kelly Bayer Rosmarin in the release of the Deloitte report and removed mention of former Optus CMO Melissa Hopkins and her speech at the ADMA Global Forum.
Optus appointed the consulting firm to review its security systems and carry out an in-depth investigation into the data breach that affected almost 10 million current and former customers.
However, Optus is now seeking to use “legal professional privilege” to prevent the Deloitte report from becoming public as part of a class action lawsuit filed against the telco.
In October, Optus CEO Kelly Bayer Rosmarin said that the report would “play a crucial role” in Optus’ response to the attack and that it might “help others in the private and public sector.”
In March, the company said that it would share some recommendations to the private and public sector. Now, Optus has said that it will not release any information to the public.
“The report is confidential and the subject of a legal professional privilege claim,” an Optus spokeswoman told The Australian Financial Review.
“Deloitte completed its report into the cyberattack a while ago, but as the matter is currently before the courts and the attack remains the subject of criminal investigation, Optus is making no further comment about the report, which is and remains confidential, as is common precedent.”
The class action alleges that Optus failed to protect customers’ personal information. Legal firm Slater & Gordon has filed an application with the court requesting for the Deloitte report to be released as well as documents provided by Optus to Deloitte to write the report.
Slater & Gordon practice group leader Ben Hardwick said it is looking to see “a range of important documents” linked to the Optus data breach, including the Deloitte report.
A hearing on the application before Justice Beach is slated for 14 September. The Australian Information Commissioner will also attend.
Optus declined to comment on whether it would release any information at all from the report if its claim for legal professional privilege is unsuccessful.
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