British Airways faces major UK class action lawsuit after 2018 data breach


British Airways Plc faces the largest privacy class action lawsuit in UK history for its 2018 customer data breach.

More than 16,000 victims have now joined a case to seek compensation from the airline. They could claim 2,000 pounds ($ 2,724) each, according to PGMBM, the law firm representing the plaintiffs.

“We trust companies like British Airways with our personal information and they have a duty to all their customers and the general public to take all possible measures to ensure their safety,” said Tom Goodhead, partner of PGMBM, in a E-mail. “In this case, they presided over a monumental failure.”

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BA owned by IAG SA revealed in September 2018 that a breach of its security systems compromised the personal and financial details of more than 400,000 customers. The carrier was fined £ 20million [$27.2 million] by the UK’s data protection watchdog last year, a fraction of a much larger fine initially planned by the regulator.

The complaint was filed in 2018, with a deadline of March 2021 for more victims to join. Lawyers for the plaintiffs say that if each victim of the cyberattack joined the claim, BA’s overall potential liability would be around £ 800 million.

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The UK Information Commissioners’ Office said its investigation into the cyberattack found that “the airline was processing a significant amount of personal data without adequate security measures in place”, unnecessarily exposing people’s data. The fine is the ICO’s largest to date.

BA said in an emailed statement that it continues to “vigorously defend the litigation regarding claims arising from the 2018 cyber attack”. He said he “did not recognize the damage figures put forward and that they did not appear in the claims”.

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At a case management hearing in November, BA told the court she was open to the possibility of entering into settlement discussions with the plaintiffs, according to Goodhead. However, they have yet to receive any proposals, he said. The next hearing will take place in February.

– With the help of Siddharth Philip.

Copyright 2021 Bloomberg.

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