The U.K.’s Information Commissioner is starting off the week with a GDPR bang: This morning, it announced that it has fined British Airways and its parent International Airlines Group (IAG) £183.39 million ($230 million) in connection with a data breach that took place last year that affected a whopping 500,000 customers browsing and booking tickets online. In an investigation, the ICO said that it found “that a variety of information was compromised by poor security arrangements at [BA], including log in, payment card, and travel booking details as well name and address information.”
The fine — 1.5% of BA’s total revenues for the year that ended December 31, 2018 — is the highest-ever that the ICO has leveled at a company over a data breach (previous “record holder” Facebook was fined a mere £500,000 last year by comparison).
And it is significant for another reason: It shows that data breaches can be not just a public relations liability, destroying consumer trust in the organization, but a financial liability, too. IAG is currently seeing volatile trading in London, with shares down 1.5% at the momen
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