Tuesday, June 01, 2021

Mumbai lawyer seeks Rs 15 lakh damages from Air India for data breach

New Delhi: An Air India customer has sought Rs 15 lakh as damages from the airline over the recent data breach of nearly 45 lakh passengers, including him. Zaman Ali, a Mumbai-based advocate, served a notice sent to AI management on Monday, in which he says the airline informed him about the breach on May 25.

Asked if he has sought damages for himself or on behalf of all the affected AI passengers, Ali told TOI Monday, “I have filed for damages for myself, apart from seeking a government probe into this data leak.”

“The breach Involved personal data registered between August 26, 2011, and 20, 2021, with details that Included name, date of birth, contact Information, passport information, ticket information, Star Alliance and Air lndia frequent flyer data (but no passwords data were affected) as well as credit cards data. However, In respect of this last type of data, CW/CVC numbers are not held by our data processor,” AI mail to Ali says, while advising him to change passwords.

Ali’s notice to AI seeking compensation under the IT and Consumer Protection Acts says the sensitive data breached “is extremely private” as it includes date of birth, personal contact, passport, ticket information and credit card details.

“This could very likely to lead to cloning and constructing duplicate passport, credit card, fake ID cards, etc. There are innumerable instances of this actually having occurred after massive data breaches of this kind across the globe. The seriousness of such a massive breach, therefore, ought not to be discounted or undermined,” the notice says.

“…you are liable to pay damages for causing wrongful loss of my informational autonomy, loss of my privacy, loss of control over my data and for distress and mental injury for which I call upon you to monetarily compensate me with an amount of Rs 15 lakh within 10 days from the date of receipt of this notice… any non-compliance of the present notice will invite serious civil consequences since issues of basic fundamental rights can no longer be taken for granted,” it adds.

31/05/21 Saurabh Sinha/Times of India

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