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British Airways fined £20 million following 2018 data breach

© The blowup

After suffering a data breach in 2018, British Airways has been issued a £20 million fine by the ICO, a substantially reduced sum in comparison to the original intended fine. 

Following the impact of the pandemic, the airline industry has been hit hard by mounting losses and falling demand. Taking into account the sudden and acute economic factors, the ICO substantially reduced its original fine from £183m to £20m in reflection of the stark realities – while sending a message to other businesses that they will incur penalties if they fail to protect user data. 

The penalty issued by the ICO is still however the largest ever to-date and comes after BA’s IT systems were infiltrated by hackers in 2018 – resulting in the harvesting of personal information belonging to 400,000 customers. 

The data breach and subsequent fine is a painful reminder to businesses how important data security and protecting personal information is. 

For businesses looking to secure their data, hard drive degaussing and data auditing can form part of the strategy in protecting user information. 

With airlines and tech companies under the crosshairs with their global data centres, it’s increasingly clear that despite global disruptions to trade and Britain’s departure from the EU custom’s area in January – data security still remains a priority. 

It was only a few months ago that EasyJet also faced legal action following a massive data leak and other businesses in various industries are playing catch up in trying to mitigate data breaches whilst protecting their employee and personal data.