British Airways Faces £Multimillion Fine

British Airways faces the threat of legal action over the unprecedented data breach that saw 380,000 passengers’ bank details stolen. The airline is already facing a fine of up to £500 million from the Information Commissioner’s Office for the breach. Under the European General Data Protection Regulation companies can be fined up to £17 million or four per cent of global turnover, whichever is bigger.

Last year BA’s total revenue was just over £12.2 billion, meaning it could face a fine of £489 million if the ICO takes action.

A law firm specialising in challenging big companies now claims that each passenger may be able to claim £1,250, potentially costing the carrier £475 million.

BA has already said it will compensate passengers for any financial loss, including money stolen from bank accounts. The airline has also pledged to pay for a 12-month credit-rating monitoring service for those affected. BA said: “The airline has guaranteed that financial losses suffered by customers directly because of the theft of this data from British Airways will be reimbursed.”

However, legal firm SPG Law said that it was seeking compensation on behalf of passengers for the “inconvenience, distress and misuse” of their private information.

The UK arm of the US giant Sanders Phillips Grossman claimed that BA should also pay for non-material damage, saying that it was a requirement under the Data Protection Act 2018 and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which came into force in May.

The firm said that its US parent company had already acted against companies including Yahoo, Wendy’s, Target and Anthem over data breaches. A criminal inquiry into the incident is being led by specialist officers from the National Crime Agency. The ICO is carrying out its own investigation.

SPG Law told the newspaper that it had sent a “letter before action” to BA asking it to begin settlement discussions. The letter says that any failure to do so would be followed by an application for a group litigation order to allow the courts to manage a number of claims against the airline together. Partner Tom Goodhead reportedly said: “Unfortunately, this is the latest in a number of catastrophic failures in BA’s IT systems.

“Unlike previous failures, however, this data breach has caused serious inconvenience and distress to nearly 400,000 people. BA is liable to compensate for non-material damage under the Data Protection Act 2018 and SPG Law will hold it to account.”

BA was warned earlier this year that it was vulnerable to hackers, according to reports over the weekend.
The airline said that the breach was the result of a “very sophisticated, malicious criminal attack on our website”.
Chairman and chief executive Alex Cruz stressed that the carrier acted as quickly as it could.

“We became aware initially on that day and we began to work on it,” he said. “We discovered that something had happened, and immediately we began to work.”

He apologised for the failure, adding that BA was “100% committed” to compensating customers who had been financially affected.

BA admitted that 380,000 customers’ bank details could have been stolen from its website and app. Passengers’ data had been compromised from 10.58pm on August 21 until the breach was discovered and stopped at 9.45pm on Wednesday 5th September.

Travel Weekly

You Might Also Read: 

British Airways Data Breach:

 

« N. Korean Hacker Fingered For Wannacry Attacks
UK Victims Lose £28m To Cybercrime In 6 Months »

Directory of Suppliers

SmartSearchUK

SmartSearchUK

SmartSearch is the leading online provider of Anti-Money Laundering and Fraud Prevention Services

Caliber Security

Caliber Security

Caliber Security Partners provide information security and security assessment services.

Mimecast

Mimecast

Mimecast delivers cloud-based email management for Microsoft Exchange and Microsoft Office 365 including archiving, continuity and security.

Digital Risks

Digital Risks

Digital Risks is an insurance provider focusing on the needs of digital businesses. Services offered include Cyber Liability insurance.

CloudLayar

CloudLayar

CloudLayar is a cloud-based website firewall for protecting your website against online threats.

Lares Consulting

Lares Consulting

Lares is an information security consulting firm.

Clickalba

Clickalba

Clickalba provides consulting, auditing, training and outsourcing, in the field of Cybersecurity and Information Security Management,

Cyber Future Foundation (CFF)

Cyber Future Foundation (CFF)

CFF was established to create a cyberspace where digital commerce and innovation can thrive based on trust and respect to individual privacy.

Seceon

Seceon

Seceon OTM, is a cyber security advanced threat management platform that visualizes, detects, and eliminates threats in real time.

Bay Dynamics

Bay Dynamics

Bay Dynamics enables enterprises to continuously quantify the financial impact of cyber risk based on actual conditions detected in their operating environment.

Massive Alliance

Massive Alliance

Massive is a global service agency providing internet monitoring, data & security threat surveillance and reputation management.

EBDAA

EBDAA

EBDAA is a consultancy company providing high quality consultancy services in Risk & Compliance and Awareness & Education.

Cyber Discovery

Cyber Discovery

Cyber Discovery, the UK Government's Cyber Schools Programme, is a learning programme designed to give young people the opportunity to learn the skills needed to enter the cyber security profession.

Sandia National Laboratories

Sandia National Laboratories

Sandia National Laboratories is a premier science and engineering lab for national security and technology innovation. Research areas include computing & information science and cybersecurity.

Silensec

Silensec

Silensec is a management consulting, technology services and training company specialized in information security.