EasyJet has admitted falling victim to a ‘highly sophisticated’ data breach, in which hackers accessed 9m customers’ personal information. Two thousand two hundred customers also had their credit card details stolen(including the three-digit security number on the back of the card).
Solicitors must explain to consumers that sections 67 and 68 of the Data Protection Act 2018 stipulate companies’ obligations in terms of notifying both the ICO and the affected data subject of the information breach and that, in addition to this, GDPR makes provision for compensation. Section 68 outlines that, “Where a personal data breach is likely to result in a high risk to the rights and freedoms of individuals, the controller must inform the data subject of the breach without undue delay.” However, in this case, even though the potential for phishing fraud was evident, customers were only informed of the breach nearly four months after the event.
While, understandably, companies may fall victim to ‘sophisticated attackers’, they still have a standard of data protection to adhere to, as outlined by GDPR. EasyJet has assured customers that there is no evidence of malicious use of personal information. However, it is still strongly advised that customers take precautions in terms of securing their data. The airline has admitted that the potential for phishing emails seemingly being sent by EasyJet or EasyJet Holidays cannot be ignored.
Solicitors can bring about legal proceedings in terms of Article 82 of GDPR, allowing them to pursue compensation on behalf of data subjects that have suffered at the hands of negligent companies. In this case, EasyJet faces an estimated £18bn in compensation claims. Article 82 of GDPR outlines that, “Any person who has suffered material or non-material damage as a result of an infringement of this Regulation shall have the right to receive compensation from the controller or processor for the damage suffered.” With this in mind, solicitors must pay special attention to the following circumstances which may impact their clients’ claims:
Considering the sheer scale of the breach, solicitors must act quickly to ensure they can successfully manage the volume of inbound claims. Employing an experienced legal lead generation company, such as Atechy Legal, will prove vital for engaging with affected consumers and handling the claims process swiftly and efficiently.