Category Archives: UK news

BA fined record £20m for customer data breach

Personal details of more than 400,000 customers accessed by hackers in 2018

A £183m fine levied on British Airways for a data breach has been reduced to £20m after investigators took into account the airline’s financial plight and the circumstances of the cyber-attack.

The £20m fine is nonetheless the biggest ever issued by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), following the 2018 incident in which more than 400,000 customers’ personal details were compromised by hackers.

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Your data is not destined for China, assures TikTok’s UK boss

The controversial app’s users are ignoring geopolitical battle over its digital security, says Richard Waterworth

TikTok’s UK chief has strenuously denied the video-sharing app, which Donald Trump has threatened to ban, shares data with China.

Richard Waterworth told the Observer that the UK and European arm of TikTok was growing quickly, despite the “turbulent” geopolitical battle in which the Chinese-born app has found itself.

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MPs criticise privacy watchdog over NHS test-and-trace data

UK information commissioner ‘must ensure government uses public’s data safely and legally’

A cross-party group of more than 20 MPs has accused the UK’s privacy watchdog of failing to hold the government to account for its failures in the NHS coronavirus test-and-trace programme.

The MPs have urged Elizabeth Denham, the information commissioner, to demand that the government change the programme after it admitted failing to conduct a legally required impact assessment of its privacy implications.

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Bank of England paid £3m in ‘golden goodbyes’ over 15 months

Rise in settlements in 2019 included those paid to departing tech security staff shortly before major breach

The Bank of England paid departing staff almost £3m in “golden goodbyes” over 15 months, at the same time as an exodus of workers from its information security team.

Settlement payments to former staff surged to £2.3m in 2019, according to data provided to the Guardian under freedom of information laws. The Bank confirmed that former information security staff received some of the payments.

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EasyJet hacking attack: are you affected and what should you do?

The airline has said the personal information of 9 million customers has been compromised

EasyJet revealed on Tuesday it had suffered a “highly sophisticated” cyber-attack. It comes at a time of heightened concern about a surge in online and phone scams linked to the coronavirus pandemic.

Related: EasyJet reveals cyber-attack exposed 9m customers' details

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EasyJet reveals cyber-attack exposed 9m customers’ details

Airline apologises after credit card details of about 2,200 passengers were stolen
Q&A: are you affected and what should you do?

EasyJet has revealed that the personal information of 9 million customers was accessed in a “highly sophisticated” cyber-attack on the airline.

The company said on Tuesday that email addresses and travel details were accessed and it would contact the customers affected.

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Using Big Tech to tackle coronavirus risks swapping one lockdown for another | Adam Smith

An app that logs movements and contacts might seem like a fair trade now but we risk giving away our privacy for good

Even when the lockdown is lifted, there is no guarantee that life will ever return to normal. To prevent a future outbreak of coronavirus, the UK will need to roll out mass testing, maintain some social distancing measures and closely monitor communities to curb future flare-ups.

In pursuing that last aim, governments across the world are developing technology to track our movements. When lockdown ends, technology could be a valuable means of controlling future outbreaks, alerting people to cases of Covid-19 in their area and hopefully preventing future shutdowns.

Related: The expansion of mass surveillance to stop coronavirus should worry us all | Veena Dubal

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Why isn’t the government publishing more data about coronavirus deaths? | Jeni Tennison

Studying the past is futile in an unprecedented crisis. Science is the answer – and open data is paramount

Coronavirus – latest updates
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Wherever we look, there is a demand for data about Covid-19. We devour dashboards, graphs and visualisations. We want to know about the numbers of tests, cases and deaths; how many beds and ventilators are available, how many NHS workers are off sick. When information is missing, we speculate about what the government might be hiding, or fill in the gaps with anecdotes.

Data is a necessary ingredient in day-to-day decision-making – but in this rapidly evolving situation, it’s especially vital. Everything has changed, almost overnight. Demands for food, transport, and energy have been overhauled as more people stop travelling and work from home. Jobs have been lost in some sectors, and workers are desperately needed in others. Historic experience can no longer tell us how our society or economy is working. Past models hold little predictive power in an unprecedented situation. To know what is happening right now, we need up-to-date information.

Related: A public inquiry into the UK's coronavirus response would find a litany of failures | Anthony Costello

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Morrisons not liable for massive staff data leak, court rules

UK supreme court says retailer not to blame for actions of employee with grudge

The UK’s highest court has ruled that Morrisons should not be held liable for the criminal act of an employee with a grudge who leaked the payroll data of about 100,000 members of staff.

The supermarket group brought a supreme court challenge in an attempt to overturn previous judgments which gave the go-ahead for compensation claims by thousands of employees whose personal details were posted on the internet.

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