Privacy threat in ID stuff-up

WHILE Monicka Baird was waiting for her licence renewal to arrive in the mail, the last thing she was expecting to find was an image of it posted on Facebook.

Ms Baird's licence was one of 2693 photo cards that were incorrectly issued by Service NSW when cards processed at their Card Operation Centre were delivered to incorrect addresses.

A Service NSW spokesperson said photo cards were issued incorrectly on Friday, April 7 and have now been cancelled and are no longer valid.

"New cards have been printed and are being sent to customers via express post to the correct addresses," the spokesperson said.

"Service NSW first learned about the incident on Tuesday, April 11. All customers who received an incorrect photo card were expecting to receive their new photo card."

Ms Baird said her licence was posted to Facebook in an attempt by someone to connect the licence to its rightful owner, but as a solicitor was worried about the security impact this error could cause.

"Not only did mine go astray and through the whole circle, but my husband said that we too had received a letter which contained a security licence for a local man, so that's two major security breaches in one day," she said.

"From my point of view, a drivers licence is a verification of identity, and it's a serious thing that these documents are out there and could be in the wrong hands.

"The thing is, those licences are out there, and it's a major security breach and an intrusion of privacy.

"It could be a disreputable person who has gotten their hands on someone's licence number and picture and that's 10 points of verification, so people could use this and do some real damage."

Ms Baird is concerned not everyone will get the message and will try to use their invalid photo identification cards.

"I'm worried about people who don't know what's going on don't know their licences have been cancelled," she said.

"I managed to go and pick my licence up but it's been cancelled now so I've got to go through the whole renewal process again. But other people might have done the same thing and gone and picked theirs up, and if they don't know they've been cancelled they could use them for months and not realise until they get pulled over and then it's a big fine."

Ms Baird said she was disappointed with the lack of communication from Service NSW.

"I asked the office why we weren't notified, and it wasn't until two days after I had found out where my licence was that I got a call from them, after I had already been through the process," she said.

In a statement, NSW Police said they have been contacted by by Service NSW and are taking steps to rectify the problem in relation to the firearm licences.

The Service NSW spokesperson said customers who are concerned about the delivery of their photo card can contact a dedicated hotline on 1300 962 679 or email help@service.nsw.gov.au.

"Photo cards have built-in security features and if required can be quickly deactivated in the Roads and Maritime Services database that is used by Transport for NSW and the NSW Police Force," the spokesperson said.

Under NSW Privacy Law, affected customers have the right to lodge a privacy complaint with Service NSW.

Number of licences issued in error   Drivers licenses: 2000   Mobility parking scheme permits: 318   NSW photo cards (proof of age cards): 242   Firearm licenses: 104   Security licences: 26   Commercial and private investigator licences: 3  


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