London, Jan.9 (ANI): Criminal groups have paid for the private details of some Vodafone customers to blackmail them. Other people have obtained logins to check their spouse's communications.
The personal details, accessible from any computer because they are kept on an Internet site rather than Vodafone's internal system, include numbers dialed or texted, plus the time and location of calls or texts.
The full extent of the privacy breach is unknown, but it is possible that thousands of people have logins that can be passed around and used to gain access to the accounts of about four million Vodafone clients, the Herald Sun reports.
Michael Fraser, head of the Australian Communications Law Centre at the University of Technology Sydney, said it seems to be a major breach of the company's privacy obligations and "unbelievably slack security".
"The fact you can look up anybody as easily as that seems to be a gross breach of privacy and resulting in an almost negligent exposure to criminal activity," said Professor Fraser, who is also head of the Australian Communication Consumer Action Network.
A Vodafone spokesman said the company has ordered an immediate investigation and review of its security. (ANI)