Federal Election 2016: Australian Electoral Commission sends electoral roll data of Victorian voters to the wrong people

The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) has mailed private information of Victorian residents to the wrong postal addresses, in a series of privacy breaches that raises questions about the security of voter details on the electoral roll.

Key points:

The privacy of at least four voters has been breached by AEC

Affected residents who had changed roll details

Those involved say AEC "didn't take it seriously"

The privacy breaches exposed the date of birth, email address, driver's licence number, gender, previous home addresses, country of birth and mobile numbers for electorates, including those held by Environment Minister Greg Hunt and Infrastructure and Transport Minister Darren Chester.

ABC's 7.30 understands the privacy of at least four residents has been breached by the AEC.

It is not known how many more residents are affected.

Holly, from Altona in the federal electorate of Gellibrand, applied online to change her electoral details with the AEC on May 12.

The resulting mail she received from the AEC contained a pre-filled form which was filled with the private details of another Victorian resident.

That resident also attempted to change their electoral details on the same day as Holly, but received the personal information of yet another Victorian resident, who resides in Mr Hunt's electorate of Flinders.

The residents began calling in each other find out if their details has been swapped and how they could retrieve their personal information and Holly complained to the AEC.

"They didn't take it seriously and they were more concerned over me being enrolled to vote rather than my details being sent to some unknown third party," Holly, whose full name has been withheld, told 7.30.

'Privacy is not a big issue at the AEC'

The resident who received Holly's personal details was Diane Higgins, who lives in Sale, in Mr Chester's electorate.

"My first reaction was, who has mine (personal information) and what could be done with it," Ms Higgins told 7.30.

Electoral form blurred.jpg   The electoral form sent to Holly contained the details for a different person.

Ms Higgins, who has formally complained to both the AEC and the Information Commissioner, said the AEC was unhelpful in its response.

"They said they were extremely sorry and there was nothing we could do about it," she said.

Holly said there was "no data security" with the AEC.

"The fact they they hadn't taken it seriously tells me that privacy is not a big issue at the AEC," she said.

"It's not just a company that I can stop using anymore — it's the electoral roll and I have to vote."

7.30 has contacted the AEC and the Information Commissioner for comment.

Source: ABC News

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