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Telstra CEO says customer details are safe

AAP logoAAP 16/11/2016 Lilly Vitorovich

Telstra chief executive Andrew Penn says its customers are not affected by the alleged sale of leaked private details by an Indian security firm.

Australian telco customers have been warned to be alert for suspicious activity as police investigate reports personal contact information is being offered for sale after being leaked by call centre staff in India.

"I'm only sorry...that customers of other organisations have been affected," Mr Penn said on Thursday during Telstra's investor day.

"We have no involvement, no engagement with the organisation that has been reported to be selling customer information."

Customer privacy is "critically important", he said, and the telco has very strong controls around privacy in all of its call centres.

Telstra and Vodafone have urged customers to report any fraudulent activity after Fairfax Media reported personal details of customers were being offered for sale by a Mumbai-based security firm, AI Solutions, which obtained them illegally from call centre operators.

The details could potentially be used for identity theft, other privacy breaches or fraudulent activities, and by cold-callers.

"Should Telstra detect any fraudulent activity, we would investigate and where appropriate refer it to the relevant authorities," a Telstra spokesperson told AAP.

"We haven't seen any evidence to indicate they have access to our systems."

Australian Federal Police are helping Indian authorities investigate the claims and AFP cybercrime investigators have met with Vodafone and Optus about "customer information" issues.

An Optus spokeswoman did not comment specifically on the media report, but said the company took the protection of customer data and privacy seriously.

Call centre staff are regularly monitored and are not allowed to use recording devices, phones or pens and paper at their workstations, the spokeswoman said.

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