Australian law firms team up to seek compensation for Medibank data breach

Three law firms in Australia have teamed up to run a “landmark” case against Medibank involving last October’s data breach. Comprising Maurice Blackburn Lawyers, Bannister Law Class Actions, and Centennial Lawyers, the trio will jointly seek compensation for affected customers. 

Specifically, they will push through a complaint filed with the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) to secure the compensation. Maurice Blackburn last November initiated the formal representative complaint with OAIC, which has the authority to issue the directive for compensation. 

The three law firms said in a joint statement Monday that “tens of thousands” of affected customers already had registered for the class action suit. 

Medibank last October revealed a security incident that compromised the data of 9.7 million current and former customers, including 1.8 million international customers. After the health insurer refused to pay the ransom demands, hackers dumped large batches of the data on the dark web, claiming the files contained all of the data they took in the heist.

The data security incident, alongside others such as the Optus’ breach, prompted the Australian government to push for stiffer penalties. The country’s legislation eventually was revised, increasing maximum fines for serious or repeated breaches to AU$50 million or three times the value of any benefit obtained through the data misuse, or 30% of the company’s adjusted turnover in the relevant period, whichever is greater. 

Bannister Law Class Actions’ principal Charles Bannister expressed hope the joint cooperation would lead to swift compensation payments for Medibank

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