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GDPR bites British Airways with £183 million fine

GDPR risks came home to roost for UK organizations this week, with the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) stating that it intends to fine British Airways £183.39M for GDPR infringements.

In a statement, the ICO says that the proposed fine relates to a cyber incident notified to the ICO by British Airways in September 2018. This incident in part involved user traffic to the British Airways website being diverted to a fraudulent site. Through this false site, customer details were harvested by the attackers. Personal data of approximately 500,000 customers were compromised in this incident, which is believed to have begun in June 2018.

The ICO’s investigation found that a variety of information was compromised by poor security arrangements at British Airways, including log in, payment card, and travel booking details as well name and address information.

Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham said: “People’s personal data is just that – personal. When an organization fails to protect it from loss, damage or theft it is more than an inconvenience. That’s why the law is clear – when you are entrusted with personal data you must look after it. Those that don’t will face scrutiny from my office to check they have taken appropriate steps to protect fundamental privacy rights.”

British Airways has cooperated with the ICO investigation and has made improvements to its security arrangements since these events came to light. The company will now have the opportunity to make representations to the ICO as to the proposed findings and sanction.



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