Stacks of confidential ANZ bank documents found ‘floating down the street’ after being carelessly dumped in a bin on a busy street
- Documents found on the street with personal data of customers
- The papers were thrown in a waste bin during renovations
- ANZ said it had procedures to shred documents commonly
Piles of confidential documents containing the personal details of ANZ clients have been found in a bin on a busy street by a passerby.
Scott Collins, 26, was walking near Armadale Central Shopping Centre, in south-east Perth, when he saw papers overflowing from bins used in renovations.
He said they include bank statements, letters and internal communications with customer account numbers, personal details, emails, phone numbers and transaction history.
“I just came from work… I managed to find these documents on the street,” he said 9News.
“If these were mine, I’d be furious… Anyone could have found these.”
Scott Collins found bundles of the documents “floating down the street” after being thrown away whole in a dumpster (pictured)
The bins were filled with rubble after the local ANZ branch closed and the office was cleaned, ready for another tenant.
“These banks are making billions in profits and they can’t afford a shredder… they clearly haven’t learned from the Optus and Medibank data breaches,” he said.
Mr Collins said the nearest branch was now 20 minutes away, which was especially difficult for elderly residents in the area.
Under new Australian legislation introduced in late 2022, companies that repeatedly fail to protect customers’ private data could be fined up to $50 million.
“If Australians are asked to hand over their personal data, they have a right to expect it to be protected,” said Attorney General Mark Dreyfus.
“It is not enough that a fine for a major data breach is seen as the cost of doing business,” he added.
An ANZ spokesperson said the bank has strict processes for disposing of private information, including locked bins and shredding services.
It is not known why the procedure for these documents was not followed.
ANZ Managing Director, Retail, Katherine Bray said ANZ ‘takes the security of our customers’ information and our legal obligations seriously’.
“When we close a branch, we have strict processes in place to securely dispose of ANZ documents, including those containing customer information.
“This process is closely supervised by our staff and includes a detailed inspection of the property.
“We are sorry this happened and we are urgently investigating what happened in this case.”
It is clear that ANZ has now recovered the documents and has contacted the affected customers.
ANZ said it has put processes in place to protect private information, including locked bins and shredding services