NI EasyJet customers to sue airline for violation of privacy

  • Photo: Picture by Nick Ansell/PA Wire (c)

    Customers in Northern Ireland affected by EasyJet’s recent data breach are planning to sue the airline, which is facing group action at Belfast’s High Court for alleged violation of privacy rights.

    Last week the company announced it had been the target of a "highly sophisticated cyber-attack", in which the personal details of over nine million EasyJet customers were illegally accessed.

    E-mail addresses and travel details were exposed, with more than 2,200 also having their credit card details accessed.

    The firm said it became aware of the hack in January and has informed the UK's Information Commissioner's Office, reported the Irish News.

    It emphasised that there is no evidence to suggest any personal information has been misused.

    But lawyers representing more than 50 customers in Northern Ireland have begun a group litigation against the airline.

    Solicitor from Belfast-based Phoenix Law, Darragh Mackin said: "This is probably the largest data breach in the history of this jurisdiction.  

    "It is a mammoth data breach, and a gross failure of responsibility that has undoubtedly had a serious impact on our clients who have suffered considerable distress as a result."

    "Regrettably, this mass data breach is an unrivalled failure of responsibility, and as such our clients have now no option but to proceed by way of litigation to recover compensation for the loss and damage they have sustained.

    "Our clients have now commenced litigation to ensure that Easyjet are held accountable for their failures, and that they are properly compensated for the loss in this instance."

    Paul Farrington is the chief technical officer at global app security firm, Veracode.

    He commented that “due to the increase in airline attacks in the past 12 months, there is no denying that the EasyJet attack showcases the knock-on effect that security flaws can have on travel businesses due to the lack of security training and patching policies.”

    He added: “While EasyJet is saying they suffered a “highly sophisticated” attack, we need more information from the airline as our experience shows that cybercriminals have been using uncomplicated attack methods on unpatched software to cause lasting brand and reputational damage.”  

    About the author

    Niamh is a Sync NI writer with a previous background of working in FinTech and financial crime. She has a special interest in sports and emerging technologies. To connect with Niamh, feel free to send her an email or connect on Twitter.

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