An Air India customer has filed a lawsuit for damages against the company following the leak of 4.5m passengers’ personal data earlier this year.

Journalist Ritika Handoo is seeking INR30m ($403,000, €340,000) in compensation.

She was shocked and alarmed to learn of a security lapse which led to a massive personal data breach including sensitive personal information, the Press Trust of India news agency reported her lawyer Ashwani Kumar Dubey as saying in a notice sent to Air India.

“Now that my client does not have any control over personal information as the same is stolen, it violates my client’s right to privacy and right to be forgotten as this loss of control over … personal data has led to a loss of my client’s informational autonomy,” he added.

Air India was among airlines hit by a data breach when passenger service system provider Sita suffered a sophisticated cyberattack in February. The leaked information from the frequent flyer programme covered form 26 August 2011 to 20 February 2021.

In response, Air India said affected servers were secured, credit card issuers notified, frequent flyer passwords reset and external investigators engaged. It also encouraged passengers to change passwords.

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