Vodafone pinged for failing to check identities of pre-paid customers

Vodafone failed to verify the identity of 1028 customers

Vodafone IT error let prepaid users avoid ID checks

Telco provider, Vodafone, found itself in hot water after changes to its IT system meant that it failed to verify the identity of 1028 prepaid mobile customers before activating their services, an investigation by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) found.

Investigation notes [.docx] show that Vodafone actually suspended 6383 prepaid services after the ACMA asked questions.

According to the ACMA, the breaches occurred between 6 January 2015 and 6 January 2016.

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"Verifying the identity of prepaid mobile customers helps law enforcement and national security agencies obtain accurate information about the identity of customers for the purposes of their investigations", Mr Cameron said on Thursday. Over these days, 1569 had checked the ID in store option.

"Vodafone has since taken steps to confirm the identity of those customers or cancel services in cases where this verification wasn't possible, and resolve the underlying issue", she said.

"During an upgrade to our prepaid customer activation systems over a period in 2015-2016, the system allowed a small number of customers to activate their Vodafone pre-paid services online without proper ID verification", a spokesperson for the telco said.

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A Vodafone spokesperson said the company said it has been working closely with ACMA and is committed to the terms of the undertaking.

The undertaking is effective for 24 months and requires Vodafone to keep written details about the description of the arrangements it has in place, to ensure identity checks are kept up to date and to keep records of related checks and inquiries.

The court-enforceable undertaking commits Vodafone to conduct a review and risk assessment of any future proposed changes to its systems and processes, instigate training programs, conduct compliance audits every six months and report to the ACMA.

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