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Privacy fears for children caught up in Medibank data breach



image of computer circuitry and electronics in the profile shape of a child's head


Sarah*’s children have been insured under her Medibank family health insurance policy almost since birth.

When she learned that the company had been hacked – and that the attacker had access to the personal data of all Medibank customers and “significant amounts” of health claims data – she was furious.

Her children are 12 and 9, and she has no idea if or what information about them may now be available on the Internet, or what to do.

“I feel like some dark force has the data,” Sarah said.

“We’re not sure what to do to protect children and their identities.”

Since the Medibank breach was disclosed on October 13, the ABC has been contacted by parents concerned that their children could be caught up in the data breach and about the sensitivity of the information that could have been exposed.

A Medibank spokesperson confirmed that some of the samples of stolen data already shared with the company by the hacker included customers under the age of 18.

More broadly, they were also able to access the personal data and health claims data of people aged or under 18, but the extent of the theft has yet to be established.

“We continue to work to understand the specific data that was accessed or deleted by the criminal,” the spokesperson said.