Eye-watering fine on victim of crime is a wake-up call – leader comment

British Airways is facing a �183 million fine for failing to protect people's data (Picture: Steve Parsons/PA Wire)
British Airways is facing a �183 million fine for failing to protect people's data (Picture: Steve Parsons/PA Wire)
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The proposed fine on British Airways of £183 million for failing to prevent hackers from redirecting passengers to a fake website in order to steal their data shows just how seriously we should all take online security.

It’s not often that the victim of a “sophisticated, malicious criminal attack” ends up being fined. And, as fines go, £183 million is pretty steep.

Nut that is the penalty the Information Commissioner’s Office plans to impose on British Airways after hackers were able to redirect passengers to a fraudulent website, enabling them to steal data about 500,000 people.

READ MORE: British Airways to be fined more than £183m over customer data breach

The dawning of the ‘Information Age’, also known as the Digital or Computer Age, has fundamentally changed the world as we know it in a myriad of different ways.

Most of them are good and represent progress towards a brighter future, but perhaps we have been partially blinded by such starry-eyed optimism. Criminals were always likely to look for ways to exploit new technologies and it’s past time to get real.

Even if BA manages to get the fine reduced on appeal, it should send a powerful message about just how seriously the authorities – and, therefore, everyone – must take online security.

As Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham rightly said: “The law is clear: when you are entrusted with personal data, you must look after it.”

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