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8 - Sep - 2018

British Airways Faces £500million Fine over Data Breach

British Airways (BA) may have to pay a £500million fine after data belonging to 380,000 customers was stolen between 10:58pm on 21 August and 09:45am on 5 September. 

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is probing the 15-day attack, which the airline termed as a “malicious criminal attack”.

The hackers stole credit card details belonging to BA customers leading to huge numbers of credit card cancelations.

The recent introduction of the Data Protection Act requires that companies pay up to £17million or 4% of its global turnover —whichever is greater. BA faces up to £500million in fines as its total revenue was £12.2billion in 2017.

IAG shares, BA’s parent company, also plummeted Friday by more than 3% after customers rushed to cancel their credit cards.

Alex Cruz, BA's chairman and chief executive, told the BBC: “There was a very sophisticated, malicious criminal attack on our website.

“We became aware initially on that day, and we began to work on it. We discovered that something had happened, and immediately we began to work.”

Some customers vented their frustration over how the company handled the crisis on twitter. Michelle Dewberry tweeted: “All companies have problems, some of them will affect their customers. That is a simple fact of business. How the company reacts, communicates & cares, is everything. @British_Airways are failing badly on this. I can’t even get a team manager in their call center to call me.

In a second tweet she said, “@alex_cruz you say BA will ‘work with affected customers’. Yet I’m one such customer & asking one of your call center managers to call me & it seems impossible. (I don’t believe I’m alone). All companies have problems, but it’s how you deal with them that separates good from bad.”

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