Latitude Financial Services is facing the possibility of a class action lawsuit following the revelation that personal information of 14 million customers has been exposed in a data breach. The breach, which took place over several years, included customer names, addresses, phone numbers, and dates of birth, along with 7.9 million Australian and New Zealand driver’s license numbers, 53,000 passport numbers, and financial statements. Law firms Gordon Legal and Hayden Stephens and Associates are investigating the incident and considering legal action. Latitude’s CEO, Ahmed Fahour, issued an apology and said that the company was cooperating with the government to respond to the incident.
Australia’s National Coordination Mechanism has been summoned by the government in response to the massive data breach at Latitude Financial Services. The breach, believed to be the largest in Australia’s history, has met with the group five times since March 16. The incident underlines the importance of enhanced cybersecurity measures and privacy regulations to safeguard individuals’ information. The Albanese government passed legislation in November, which increases the maximum fine for repeated or severe data breaches from $2.2m to $50m that the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner can seek. Additionally, the attorney general’s department suggests companies review how long they hold private data and consider giving people the right to take legal action for breaches of their privacy.
The breach has raised questions about the efficacy of Latitude’s data protection and security procedures. Gordon Legal partner James Naughton stated that the company is investigating how such a large-scale breach could occur. Latitude provides direct financing to customers at shops such as JB Hi-Fi, The Good Guys, and Harvey Norman. According to Naughton, the breach has affected a large number of additional customers and applicants, and Latitude’s clients have the right to know their legal rights and what measures are being taken to safeguard their personal information.