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EasyJet is facing a legal claim brought by thousands of its customers after the airline last month said the personal details of about 9m passengers were breached by a cyber attack. About 10,000 customers have joined the case, making it one of the UK’s biggest group-action personal data claims, according to lawyers. Law firm PGMBM is leading the case against easyJet after filing papers in May. On Wednesday, it said 10,000 customers from more than 50 countries had joined the claim. Tom Goodhead, PGMBM managing partner, said: “This is a monumental data breach and a terrible failure of responsibility that has a serious impact on easyJet’s customers, who are coming forward in their thousands.” EasyJet said: “We are aware that a class-action law firm has filed a claim against easyJet in the High Court and that other firms are advertising their services to do the same. This is not uncommon and just because these firms are advertising does not mean they have a strong claim,” as reported by The Financial Times.
British low-cost airline carrier based at London Luton Airport, confirmed on May 19, 2020, that sensitive personal data of nine million customers from around the world had been exposed in a data breach. Budget airline easyJet was aware of the data breach, which revealed personal information of nine million customers and the credit card information of over 2,200 customers, in January. News of the cyber attack revealed that the attacker or attackers had access to the data of customers who booked flights from 17 October 2019 to 4 March 2020, according to The Independent.
“The breach itself occurred in January 2020 but despite notifying the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office at that time, EasyJet waited four months to notify its customers,” PGMBM commented. “Under Article 82 of the EU General Data Protection Regulation, easyJet customers who have had their data compromised by this huge breach have a right to compensation for inconvenience, distress, annoyance and loss of control of their personal data. PGMBM estimate that the nine million victims could be owed up to GBP2,000 in compensation, which would see easyJet subject to a potential GBP18 billion liability,” Morningstar wrote.
The lawsuit comes amid a backdrop of difficult economic times for all airlines as the coronavirus pandemic curtails travel. Earlier this month EasyJet — along with British Airways and Ryanair Holdings Plc — challenged the U.K. rules that forces international travelers to quarantine for 14 days after arriving in the country, according to Insurance Journal.
More airlines – more claims
Several thousand British Airways customers are also bringing a claim against the company over a hack in 2018 that put 500,000 customers’ data at risk. They were granted a group litigation order last year and are seeking to sign up more claimants. A US court has allowed shareholders to sue Ryanair and chief executive Michael O’Leary for making “false and misleading statements” about its industrial relations woes in 2018 but has dismissed some of the claims made in the case, Euro Weekly News wrote.
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