British Airways Fined ‘Record’ £183 Million in 2018 Data Breach

By Anna Breuer on 8 July 2019
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IMG_2019 (1)The U.K. Information Commissioner’s Office said Monday that British Airways had been fined £183 million ($222 million) for a website failure that compromised the information of 500,000 customers.

The fine would be the largest yet under a new privacy rule known as the General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, which came into effect last year in the European Union.

The British flag carrier said it would contest the penalty.

“We are surprised and disappointed in this initial finding,” said British Airways CEO Alex Cruz in a statement.

The attack allowed hackers to harvest customer details including user names, payment methods, and travel booking details, according to the regulator.

The ICO said the incident took place after users of British Airways’ website were diverted to a fraudulent site.

“People’s personal data is just that – personal,” said Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham. “When an organisation fails to protect it from loss, damage or theft, it is more than an inconvenience.”

The incident was first disclosed by the airline on September 8, 2018. At the time, BA said that approximately 380,000 transactions were involved and that no travel or passport information had been compromised.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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