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Published on Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Deadline extended for victims of BA data breach

The deadline for victims of a British Airways data breach to join group litigation against the airline has been extended until 2 June.

Lawyers acting for BA customers argued in court yesterday that the 19 March cut-off date should be extended to allow more people to be informed of the action.

PGMBM, lead solicitors in the case, said the March date could have excluded many victims and 'removed the opportunity for the vast majority of their wronged customers to access justice'.

The legal case against British Airways over its 2018 data breach is said to be the largest group-action personal data claim in UK history, with over 20,000 customers joining the action

PGMBM described the number as a 'fraction of the over 420,000 customers and staff who had their personal data leaked, including names, debit and credit card numbers, addresses and email addresses'.

Each of the victims could be awarded up to £2,000, based on previous court rulings. If every one of the 400,000 victims puts in a claim, it could lead to a payout of more than £800m.

BA has already been fined £20 million, but this was reduced from an initial fine of £183m.

PGMBM Managing Partner Tom Goodhead said: "British Airways failed to look after their customers' personal information, and they know exactly which of their customers are affected.

"If they were keenly interested in doing their best for those people, they could email them in a heartbeat to inform them of this legal action.

"No prizes for guessing that they won't do that, and were willing to have people scrambling around in their spam folders for an email from 2018 that notified them of the breach.

"The previous 19 March deadline only favoured BA, not their customers or the court. The imposition of an imminent deadline would have significantly reduced the possibility of affected people hearing about this legal action in time, and removed the opportunity for the vast majority of their wronged customers to access justice.

"Customers are very much entitled to be compensated for their personal information being leaked to hackers. We are very glad to have secured more time for people to find out more and join the case if they wish."

BA has previously said it will 'vigorously defend the litigation', arguing it 'does not recognise the damages figures put forward'.

Travelmole has approached BA for additional comment.

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