Shahriar Sean Saffari, an unsuccessful mayoral candidate in Australia, has initiated legal proceedings against a prominent financial services firm, accusing them of inadequate protection of customer information. Saffari seeks compensation amounting to $1 million as a result of the emotional distress he experienced following the data breach.
Latitude’s Cyber Attack and the Compromised Customer Data
In March, Latitude fell victim to a cyber attack that resulted in the unauthorized access and theft of data belonging to 7.9 million customers. During the incident, a suspected hacker group gained control of the company’s servers by exploiting a compromised employee account. This breach of security ultimately led to the filing of the lawsuit.
Identity Theft and Financial Consequences of the Breach
Saffari, as a victim of the data breach, expressed concerns over the potential consequences of the attack. Losing his Master Credit Card details, he feared that the stolen information could be used for identity theft and unauthorized access to his personal accounts, potentially resulting in financial loss.
Justice Melissa Perry Overseeing the Case and Financial Provision for Affected Customers
Justice Melissa Perry has been assigned the task of overseeing the case and ensuring its resolution. Meanwhile, Latitude Financial Services has allocated $46 million as compensation for affected customers, with the funds expected to be awarded to claimants after the conclusion of the legal proceedings.
Collaborative Investigation by Privacy Commissioner and Information Commissioner
The New Zealand Office of the Privacy Commissioner and the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) are jointly conducting an investigation into the data breach. The findings of this investigation are expected to be concluded by September. If substantial breaches are discovered, the OAIC holds the authority to impose significant penalties on the service provider, with the resulting fines to be distributed among affected customers in the form of discounts during loan repayments.