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Law Firm Claims British Airways Could Pay Out £3 Billion in Compensation Over Data Breach

Law Firm Claims British Airways Could Pay Out £3 Billion in Compensation Over Data Breach

british airways

A law firm that is bringing a group action against British Airways over a 2018 data breach that resulted in the personal and financial details of 400,000 customers being compromised claims the airline could face a compensation bill of around £3 billion on top of a much smaller £20 million fine imposed by the UK’s data watchdog.

Your Lawyers, which is bringing the group action against the airline, says British Airways has informed the High Court of its intention to settle the claims and the law firm estimates that each claimant could be set to receive as much as £6,000 each.

It’s not known how Your Lawyers ended up with the £6,000 figure but British Airways has strenously denied any liability in connection with the data breach which the Information Commisioners Office said could have been prevented if British Airways had identified weaknesses in its security systems that allowed hackers to carry out the cyber attack without detection for some two months.

“We continue to deny liability in respect of the claims brought arising out of the 2018 cyberattack and are vigorously defending the litigation,” a spokesperson for British Airways commented on the news. “We do not recognise the damages figures that Your Lawyers has put forward, and they have not appeared in the claims,” the statement continued.

Customers who believe they were affected by the breach have until March 19 to join the Group Litigation Order that is being brought by Your Lawyers.

Following an investigation to the breach by the Information Commissioners Office, British Airways faced a mammoth fine of £180 million which the airline immediately contested.

In its final ruling, the ICO ruled that British Airways should pay just £20 million for breaking data protection laws. The ICO said it had considered the financial shock brought about by the Coronavirus pandemic for reducing the penalty imposed on the airline.

In total, the personal details of 429,612 customers and staff were potentially accessed by the hackers. Around 77,000 customers had both their credit card number and CVV numbers potentially stolen.

In its final ruling, the ICO said it was “severe failing” that it took so long for British Airways to identify the breach.

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