It was a story that broke unprecedented ground for what is considered a data breach and made headlines in data breach news in the UK, and the sage for airline giant British Airways is not close to being finished yet as the numerous victims of two separate data breaches within the company have been granted two additional months in filing their compensation claims following the extension of the Group Litigation Order window.
Between the months of August and September 2018, it was revealed by the airline that 380,000 transactions had been compromised followed by 185,000 customers being informed that their personal information and financial details had been exposed between April and July of that year. This was a shocking event that showed BA were not towing the line in how to protect data online.
Details such as payment card numbers, expiry dates and multiple CVV security codes were exposed, as well as names, billing addresses and contact information.
The Defendant’s solicitors provided evidence at the GLO application hearing that the total figure of unique payment cards affected went up to 429,420.
January 2021 saw consumer action law outfit Your Lawyers report that the UK airline is currently planning a payment settlement discussion which could result in a £3bn compensation pay-out. BA at this moment continues to deny liability and standing firm in its decision to fight the litigation case.
The original deadline for joining the GLO was April 3rd 2021 but has now been moved to June 3rd 2021. It is understood that following that date, customers will no longer be eligible to join the group litigation. The extension was granted in order for claimants to adequately prepare cases following the massive wave of sign-ups in recent months.
The estimated range that Your Lawyers have averaged on compensation to each individual affected is said to be in the region of between 6k to 15k. This could leave BA with a total payout of £2.4bn.
There have been calls for concern in that BA has steadfastly denied accountability and held fast that they will challenge in court, whilst their legal representatives entered into written court letters expressing intentions to enter into settlement negotiations.
The amount of victims who have suffered as a result of their personal information being compromised and exploited leaves them continually open to attempts at fraud and theft, and in some cases more severe circumstances. The continual disruption of services and lives on the victim’s behalf represents very stressful situations for those who had trusted the airline with their data.
It has been called on by members of the legal profession that the airline publicly acknowledges their responsibility that they accept behind closed doors – that they are indeed liable for the breach in people’s personal data and therefore are liable to pay compensation to those affected financially and emotionally.