Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Resident shocked as private ratepayer information published to council website

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Moreton Bay ratepayers’ private user information has been accidentally published to the regional council’s website.

It comes after users reported seeing other people’s personal information submitted through the City of Moreton Bay’s customer request portal.

The data breach included names, residential addresses, email, phone numbers, complaints to the council and details about council investigations.

A council spokesperson said its third-party provider had launched an investigation into the “possible information breach”.

The spokesperson said in the meantime, some customer functionality would remain unavailable on the website.

“The cause is still to be determined but there is no indication that this is a cyber attack,” the spokesperson said.

“Our third-party provider is investigating a possible information breach.

“Customers do not need to take any action at this stage.”

The council has disabled some of the website’s functions. (Supplied: City of Moreton Bay)

The spokesperson could not provide an estimated time for when the website would be fixed, nor how many people had been affected.

They said the council would continue to keep residents informed.

Shocked resident

Moreton Bay resident Piper Lalonde said she and her husband were shocked when they discovered their personal information was freely available on council’s website on Monday night. 

A woman smiles at the camera in a profile photo.

Piper Lalonde was shocked to discover her personal information online.(Supplied: Piper Lalonde)

The data analyst said the website included their phone numbers, request for new bins and even the GPS coordinates of where the request had been filed. 

A further search showed their friends and neighbours had also been caught up in the breach. 

She reported it to the council on Monday night, but said the webpage was only taken down on Tuesday later in the day. 

Ms Lalonde said she was shocked that Moreton Bay City Council had still not told ratepayers about the data breach. 

She said she saw highly sensitive information, such as complaints that people had filed against their neighbours. 

“If this gets in the wrong hands — it just takes one person to see a complaint about them, and who knows what they’ll do,” Ms Lalonde said. 

“I would expect they’d have to send out some formal communication letting people know their information was publicly accessible, but there was no indication they were going to do that.”

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