Air India building at Nariman Point in Mumbai. (HT FILE)
Air India building at Nariman Point in Mumbai. (HT FILE)

Air India data hack: Delhi journalist seeks 30 lakh compensation from airline

Journalist Ritika Handoo has sent a legal notice to Air India, terming the breach a violation of ‘my right to be forgotten and informational autonomy.’
By | Written by Karan Manral, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JUL 04, 2021 10:55 PM IST

An Air India flyer on Sunday sent a legal notice to the national carrier’s management, seeking a compensation of 30 lakh over the recent leak of personal details of 45 lakh passengers, including those of her and her husband.

Also Read: Air India says 10 years of passenger data breached

In the notice, Delhi-based journalist Ritika Handoo claimed the airline informed her about the breach on June 1, her lawyer said. “The breach is a violation of my right to be forgotten and informational autonomy,” the notice quoted Handoo as saying.

The notice also accused Air India of “knowingly, intentionally and deliberately” leaking the personal data for breach of sensitive information.

“The noticee, Air India, is guilty of leaking the sensitive information and personal data of my client. She was shocked and alarmed to learn about the recent security lapse by the noticee, making my client’s data open to exploitation,” the notice, sent through advocate Ashwini Kumar Dubey, read. Stating that the breach violated Handoo’s right to privacy, it added that this is guaranteed as a fundamental right by the Supreme Court.

On May 21, Air India said its passenger service provider system, SITA, faced a “sophisticated” cyber-attack in February, resulting in the personal details of 45 lakh passengers being leaked. “The breach involved personal data registered between August 26, 2011, and February 20, 2021, with details that included name, date of birth, contact information, passport information, ticket information, Star Alliance and Air India frequent flyer data (but no passwords data were affected) as well as credit cards data,” the airline said in an email to its flyers.

The breach was also acknowledged by SITA, which is based out of Geneva in Switzerland. “SITA confirms it was a victim of a cyber-attack leading to a data security incident involving certain passenger data that was stored on our Passenger Service System (US) Inc servers,” it said in a statement dated March 4, according to media reports.

(With PTI inputs)

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