Optus allocates A$140 million to cover data breach costs

Optus allocates A$140 million to cover data breach costs

Not counting the cost of any regulatory actions.

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Singtel's Australian subsidiary Optus has set aside A$140 million (S$126 million) this financial year for "exceptional expenses" related to its response to its September data breach.

The spending emerged as the carrier announced its half-year financial results.

The carrier said: “An amount of A$140 million has been provided in the current period as an exceptional expense for the expected costs of actions to prevent harm to customers, such as the replacement of identity documents”.

As well as replacing identification documents, Singtel’s management discussion and analysis document [pdf] state the money is for “a program of customer actions, including an external independent review, third-party credit monitoring services for impacted customers”.

The external review is being conducted by Deloitte.

Singtel also noted a provision of $2 million for similar activities in relation to the breach of its Dialog subsidiary.

Singtel also warned potential action from the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner, the Australian Communications and Media Authority, and the Department of Home Affairs could take the cost higher.

“At this stage, the group is not able to estimate the financial effect, if any, of these investigations and matters, and is continuing to take legal advice on these matters,” Singtel said.

Optus’ half-year revenue of $3.9 billion was almost unchanged on the same period last year. Its EBIT rose $51.3 million to $164 million.

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