Telcos warned over wrong or missing IPND data

By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Wednesday, 27 February, 2019

Telcos warned over wrong or missing IPND data

The ACMA has directed 11 telecommunications services providers to comply with their obligations to support the delivery of emergency services across Australia, after finding them to be in violation of regulations.

Recent investigations found that the 11 companies had failed to provide accurate customer information data to the Integrated Public Number Database (IPND), in violation of both the Telecommunications Act and the IPND Industry Code.

The IPND is a secure database used to assist the Triple Zero emergency call service — as well as the national emergency alert system and law enforcement and national security agencies — in identifying and locating the subscribers of telecommunications services.

Regulations require operators to provide customer information including phone numbers and addresses to the database.

ACMA’s investigation found that Optus, Telstra and Vodafone Australia were responsible for the majority of breaches to the IPND regulations and requirements.

The warned telecommunications companies have been directed to undertake independent audits of their processes, conduct data reconciliations and comply with the IPND Code. Optus, Telstra and Symbio have also been instructed to address missing and inaccurate records in the database.

“The ACMA has taken steps to ensure telcos prioritise remediation of their records and that the underlying causes of the breaches are identified and addressed,” ACMA Chair Nerida O’Loughlin said.

“We’ll be looking very closely at the reconciliations and independent audit results and will consider further action if needed.”

Telcos face penalties of up to $10 million for failing to comply with the regulator’s remedial directions.

Besides Telstra, Optus, Vodafone and Symbio, remedial directions were also issued to AAPT, Agile, Chime Communications, PowerTel, Primus Telecommunications, TransACT Communications and TransACT Capital Communications.

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