Travel Agents

“Human error” to blame for Flight Centre passport leak

A leak of customer passport details at Flight Centre was the result of a “human error”, with the agency admitting passport details of some of their customer base had been shared with external parties.

The agency sent letters to affected customers explaining that some personal passport details had been accidentally released to a group of third-party developers.

Australia has one of the most powerful passports in the world, according to recent research that showed the best passports in the world to possess.

A Flight Centre spokesperson said, “The issue was caused by human error, not by a system or security failure”, assuring that all affected customers “have been notified”.

“In essence, personal information relating to some leisure customers in Australia was accidentally made available to a small number of potential third party suppliers for a short period of time.

“When we became aware of the issue, we acted quickly and contained the information.

“We also sought and received assurances from the suppliers that they did not retain copies.

“While we believe the risk that this information will be misused is relatively low given the circumstances, we chose to inform the affected customers so they could take additional precautions if they considered it appropriate.

“Naturally, we have also taken steps to help people take those precautions. The steps people should take have been outlined in the letters they have received.”

Per SMH, Flight Centre would not confirm how many customers were affected, however a spokesperson said it was “a really small percentage of our leisure customer base”.

Speaking to news.com.au, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said the personal information that’d be found in someone’s passport was “insufficient” enough to obtain another passport in their identity, but any concerned customers could renew their passport to update the details.

 “This is a matter for Flight Centre. There are a range of robust controls in place to ensure that Australian travel documents are only issued to individuals with an entitlement, including sophisticated facial recognition technology,” a DFAT spokesman told news.

“A passport number and personal information contained on the photo page of a passport would be insufficient to obtain another passport in this identity.

“Passport holders who feel unsure about the security of their current passport can renew at any time. Renewal of a passport cancels the holder’s current passport and generates a new passport with a new, unique passport number.”

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