aviation industry

UK data privacy watchdog slashes British Airways fine as virus bites

Agence France-Presse, Agence France-Presse
UK data privacy watchdog slashes British Airways fine as virus bites

In this file photo taken on May 22, 2020, a British Airways Airbus A380 aircraft is parked at the Chateauroux-Deols 'Marcel Dassault' Airport in Deols, France. - British Airways has been fined 20 million pounds by the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) over a 2018 data breach which saw the personal details of 400,000 of its customers accessed by hackers on October 16, 2020. (Photo by GUILLAUME SOUVANT / AFP)

British Airways would be fined a 'record' £20 million ($25 million) over a cyberattack, considerably less than the proposed amount announced in 2019

The United Kingdom’s data privacy watchdog on Friday, October 16, slashed a fine imposed on British Airways (BA) over a cyberattack after taking into account coronavirus fallout on the embattled airline’s finances.

The UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) said BA would be fined a “record” £20 million ($25 million, 22 million euros), considerably less than the proposed amount totaling £183 million.

“As part of the regulatory process the ICO considered both representations from BA and the economic impact of COVID-19 on their business before setting a final penalty,” the watchdog said in a statement.

The proposed amount was announced in July last year after computer hackers in 2018 stole bank details from hundreds of thousands of British Airways passengers.

The ICO on Friday repeated its finding that BA had infringed European Union (EU) data protection rules, or GDPR.

“Because the BA breach happened in June 2018, before the UK left the EU, the ICO investigated on behalf of all EU authorities as lead supervisory authority under the GDPR,” Friday’s statement said.

British Airways, which is slashing thousands of jobs as the coronavirus pandemic decimates demand for air travel, surprised markets on Monday, October 12, by announcing the sudden departure of chief executive Alex Cruz. – Rappler.com

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