The UK security site The Register reports that the Centrelink database was “routinely searched for personal reasons by government agency employees”.
There were 790 security breaches at government agency Centrelink involving 600 staff. Staff were found to have inappropriately accessed databases containing citizens’ information.
The Centrelink database is the planned repository for Australian “Access Card” data (in effect a National ID card under a different name). Though workers have been identified and sacked regarding this security break, the investigation to catch them took two years.
It is likely that once the stakes are higher, more targetted and mallicious use of the database than simple fraud and curiousity will arise.