Red
faces at the Commonwealth bank’s CommSec online share
broking service. It has
managed to upset some of its plum customers, the so-called Platinum premium
traders who make at least 25 equity trades a month through their
accounts.

A
number of people reported yesterday that they’d received details of their account with another
person’s name on it, which upset some and bemused others. Not to
mention the unfortunate privacy breach.

Then
Wednesday morning, this email arrived (note
that CommSec cannot work out if the individual client
is male or female.):

Dear
Sir/Madam

You may recently have received an email from Megan Barclay at
Capital Market
Solutions with an attachment that included a Trading Statement
from your
CommSec trading account with Capital
Market Solutions Logo at the top.

Capital Market Solutions is a system
provider to CommSec and is engaged in
the upgrade
of CommSec’s Options settlement and reporting
application. On
Tuesday 18th October, Capital Market Solutions was further
testing the
reports functionality of the new system.

In error a
number of existing CommSec clients received “Test
emails” from
Capital Market Solutions. I can confirm that your account
information was
only sent to your email address.

For your reference
Capital Market Solutions is under a strict
confidentiality agreement with
CommSec and I can assure you that no other
client
of CommSec, or any other persons, received the report
sent to you
yesterday. CommSec Management is aware
of the error. If you require further
clarification relating to this matter
please contact myself, Simon Smyth, or
Richard Peel, CommSec Equity Operations Manager, at the address below.

Kind regards
Simon Smyth

Oh dear. There was no explanation as to how or why a person at a service provider was able to
access individual CommSec client accounts and use them
in a test. Nor was
there any explanation as to why the “testing” needed actual client account
information in the first place.

Meanwhile, the
customers only have CommSec’s word for it that nothing
untoward happened.

Peter Fray

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