Half a million British Airways customers are told they can sue the airline over a huge data breach which saw their bank details and addresses stolen by hackers
- The airline reported that it had suffered a cyber attack on its systems in 2018
- Personal details, including payment data and addresses, were compromised
- BA is already facing a record fine of more than £183million over the breach
Half a million British Airways customers have been given the go ahead to bring compensation claims against the airline at the High Court over a data breach.
The airline reported that it had suffered a cyber attack on its systems in September 2018.
The Information Commissioners Office (ICO) were forced to investigate and found that 500,000 customers had been affected.
Half a million British Airways customers have been given the go ahead to bring compensation claims against the airline at the High Court over a data breach
Personal details, including payment data and addresses, were compromised by the hack, according to the ICO’s findings.
Part of the scam involved passengers being diverted to a fake website through which their details were harvested by the attackers.
The airline began to contact affected customers last year but today Mr Justice Warby today granted a group litigation order at a hearing in London, paving the way for a mass legal action against BA.
There are already more than 5,000 affected customers being represented by SPG Law and a further 230 represented by Your Lawyers Limited, who are bringing claims for compensation.
But the potential number of claimants is much larger and the judge granted a window of 15 months for people to come forward and join the group litigation.
The Information Commissioners Office (ICO) were forced to investigate after British Airways reported that they had suffered a cyber attack on its systems last year
Aman Johal, director of Your Lawyers, said: ‘Today’s grant of a group litigation order is a key step towards justice for the hundreds of thousands of victims of the British Airways data breach scandal.’
The ICO announced its intention earlier this year to impose a record fine of more than £183million on the airline over the breach.
A spokesman for the watchdog said at that time that the proposed fine would be the largest it had handed out and the first to be made public since new rules came into force.
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was introduced in May last year and means firms can be fined up to four per cent of their annual turnover for data breaches.
The proposed fine against British Airways represents one-and-a-half per cent of its annual turnover.
Alex Cruz, British Airways’ chairman and chief executive, said at the time that the airline was ‘surprised and disappointed’ in the ICO’s initial finding
The ICO’s investigation found that a variety of information was compromised by ‘poor security arrangements’, including log in, payment card and travel booking details as well as customers’ names and addresses.
In a statement after the fine was announced, Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham said: ‘People’s personal data is just that – personal.
‘When an organisation fails to protect it from loss, damage or theft it is more than an inconvenience.
‘That’s why the law is clear – when you are entrusted with personal data you must look after it.
‘Those that don’t will face scrutiny from my office to check they have taken appropriate steps to protect fundamental privacy rights.’
Alex Cruz, British Airways’ chairman and chief executive, said at the time that the airline was ‘surprised and disappointed’ in the ICO’s initial finding.
He added: ‘British Airways responded quickly to a criminal act to steal customers’ data.
‘We have found no evidence of fraud or fraudulent activity on accounts linked to the theft.
‘We apologise to our customers for any inconvenience this event caused.’
Source: Read Full Article