In October 2020, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) announced plans to fine British Airways £20 million for a 2018 data breach. Although you could argue that the airline got off lightly with the original fine expected to be £183.93 million.
As a result of the data hack, almost 400,000 British Airways customers had their personal details and bank cards stolen. Enough information was exposed to make the threat of cybercrime a real possibility. Many banks had to cancel and re-issue cards as a result of the breach.
While cybercriminals caused the breach, the ICO came down strong on British Airways. Primarily because the privacy violation was only possible due to inadequate security arrangements at the airline.
However, while the ICO has the power to impose fines, it does not give this money to victims of the data breach. As such, many British Airways customers have chosen to join a legal group action to get the compensation they deserve for this shocking data privacy failure.
Have customers suffered because of the British Airways data breach?
In documents submitted to the Hight Court in August, British Airways denied that affected customers have suffered any serious financial losses. In a statement, British Airways said that the losses sustained by claimants:
fails to cross the threshold of seriousness, such that the damage alleged fails to constitute an actionable tort.”
Which basically means that the airline does not believe that victims of the data breach are due any compensation.
At Keller Lenkner UK, our expert data breach lawyers believe that British Airways is downplaying the harm suffered by customers following the data breach.
British Airways has put customers at risk
The bottom line is that British Airways has put customers at risk. The ICO has already found that poor security practices led to the exposure of personal data. And despite the airline’s claims, many of our clients have experienced financial losses as a direct result of the breach.
What’s more, if you used your card to purchase tickets at the time of the breach but haven’t yet been the victim of any fraudulent activity, this doesn’t mean that you are safe. Often data stolen by cybercriminals is used in batches over time.
The losses incurred by a data breach are not always immediately apparent. So, if you used your card during the affected period, you could still be at risk.
The emotional impact of a data breach can be significant
At Keller Lenkner UK, we know that data breaches can put a person’s mental health at risk. People often feel shock, anger, fear, helplessness and panic at having their personal information exposed, so data breaches can cause or exacerbate anxiety, stress and other psychological conditions.
Following a data breach, cybercriminals often use emails and phone numbers to attempt to access further information from victims. So people can become extremely distrustful and distressed.
Thankfully, over the last few years, people are waking up to the reality of mental health, and there is a greater awareness about the lasting effects of physiological suffering and anguish.
What can you do if you were affected by the British Airways data breach?
At Keller Lenkner UK, our group action allows victims of British Airways data breach to bring a claim on a collective basis. This strengthens their overall position and increases their chances of success.
To join our group action, we need evidence that your data was put at risk by the data breach. British Airways claims that it has emailed everyone involved in the violation, so if you still have that email, we can use that to start your claim.
However, in some cases, victims of the British Airways breach may not have received this email. For example, it might have gone into your spam folder. As such, we would advise you to check to make sure you haven’t received an email from the airline (but do not click on any suspicious links).
Of course, if the email did go into your spam folder, it may have already been automatically deleted. If this is the case, you will need to provide alternative evidence.
If you haven’t got the email from British Airways, you can provide:
- evidence that you purchased tickets from British Airways on or between 22.58 on the 21st August 2018 and 21.45 on the 5th September 2018
- evidence of any fraudulent transactions/attempts/alerts/cancelled cards that relate specifically to the card you used to purchase tickets from British Airways
- confirmation that, as far as you are aware, your card was not put at risk by another data breach.
To join our British Airways data breach action compensation claim, register with us today. We can help you claim compensation for financial losses, as well as for inconvenience and distress.