13,000 customers out the door: The high price of churn when privacy data is violated

privacy data violated

When the personal data of 9.8M current and former customers goes out the back door via skilled hackers, it leaves the company and all the customers in a bad shape.

Medibank is facing high expense costs in the form of remediation (with current costs to December 2022 at $26M) and the total costs are expected to blow out to $45M this financial year. These expenses solely pertain to addressing the incident itself and do not encompass supplementary costs associated with Investor lawsuits and regulatory action.

To amplify the impact, 13,000 customers have departed, undoubtably seeking safer alternatives.

Learnings from the Medibank data breach

David Christmas, founder and managing partner or DataBench, explains that many businesses can learn from Medibank by ensuring they safeguard their customers’ personal data and provide them with access to data through data subject requests. He emphasises, “While business should prepare for anticipated privacy act reforms, they can begin taking proactive steps now”.

 The 376-page privacy act review report highlights many long overdue changes and recommendations to help protect the vulnerability of people’s information in the digital age and a data driven technology-based landscape. Right now, Three-quarters of Australians feel data breaches are one of the biggest privacy risks they face today, which is an increase of 13% since 2020. Additionally, more than half of the organisations they share their personal information with handle data responsibly, so these recent breaches are only damaging the public’s trust.

The January to June 2023 period saw 409 data breaches reported to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner. According to the 2023 IBM report, the average cost of a data breach in Australia has grown 32% in the last five years.  It is essential for businesses to proactively address privacy concerns and embrace the lessons provided by this data breach.

DataBench is here to help

Preventative action is the best course of action that a company can apply. It is common for CEOS to feel uncertain when there’s a gap between technology and operations, as it’s challenging to safeguard something you’re unaware of. As an expert in the industry, David Christmas recommends executives start to consider data in the context of both an asset and a liability as well as an operational risk. Our assessment capabilities help companies to get a true appreciation for the data they are actually holding.

Contact us here at DataBench to explore how we can enhance your data management and handling practices with our automated solutions. We can support your business in all aspects of personal data security, retention and destruction, data breach prevention and automation of compliance to the current and emerging Australian Privacy Principles. Book a demo here or contact us at


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