Download our guides Your Next Career Accommodation Money and banking Cost of living Visas Employment Health and safety Language Life in Australia Studying Getting around Travel Advertise

Data Breach Update: Optus Promises to Cover Foreign Passport Costs 

Are you a foreign passport holder who has been affected by the recent Optus data breach? Well, we have some positive news. Optus has now confirmed they will reimburse data breach victims who replace their foreign passports. 

How do I know if my data has been compromised?

Customers who have had the document number on their International Passport exposed will be contacted directly with advice from Optus. This includes customers whose passport is either current (valid) or expired.

The company is working with the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) to provide advice to these customers. You will be contacted if there is any specific action you need to take.

Additional information is available on the Optus website.

Read more: How to replace your foreign passport in Australia

What if my data has been compromised?

In addition to arranging a passport replacement, the Department of Home Affairs said international passport holders could also contact their home country, which would then request the Australian Government stop the document being used for online identity verification in Australia.

If you’re in Australia, plan to travel to Australia or travel internationally, you can continue to use your passport for physical verification of your identity and for travel.

International students left vulnerable

Optus had previously only agreed to cover the cost of replacement passports for Australians, leaving many foreign passport holders claiming they felt abandoned by the company after the data breach.

For international students, one of the first steps to settling in when they arrive in Australia is signing up for a new phone number, which often means sharing your passport details for identification purposes. This meant the recent cyber attack left many foreign passport holders in a vulnerable position. 

The data breach, which occurred in September, has impacted an estimated 10 million current and former customers, but Optus has not confirmed how many foreign passport details have been compromised.

Read more: Cyber Security 101: How to outsmart scammers