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Have you been ‘diagnosed with a psychological condition’ after the 2018 BA data breach?

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If you signed up to the class action lawsuit against British Airways over the 2018 data breach, you may have received an email this week asking for details of your mental health.

As I understand it, some claimants will have to appear as part of the case, to be a representative sub-set of all claimants. Your Lawyers, which is working on the case, appears to be trying to find some suitable people.

These are the questions which Your Lawyers is asking people who signed up to the lawsuit to answer:

British Airways BA 777X 777 9X
  • Were you suffering with any pre-existing mental health/diagnoses at the time you were notified by the British Airways regarding the breach?
  • If so, do you feel that your pre-existing condition has been exacerbated since learning of the data breach?
  • Since learning of the British Airways data breach have you sought medical attention as a result of distress caused by the breach?
  • If you have sought medical attention, on what date did you first do so following the breach?
  • Have you received a diagnosis of any psychological condition since learning of the breach?
  • Have you suffered any distress as a result of the breach?
  • If the answer to the previous question is yes, please provide a brief explanation as to how the breach has caused you distress

Since the breach, have you been affected by any of the following:

  • Feeling nervous, anxious or on edge?
  • Not being able to stop or control worrying?
  • Worrying too much about different things?
  • Trouble relaxing?
  • Being so restless that it is hard to sit still?
  • Becoming easily annoyed or irritable? 
  • Feeling afraid as if something awful might happen? 
British Airways BA A380 flying

Over the last two weeks, how often have you been affected by any of the following problems?

  • Feeling nervous, anxious or on edge?
  • Not being able to stop or control worrying?
  • Worrying too much about different things?
  • Trouble relaxing?
  • Being so restless that it is hard to sit still?
  • Becoming easily annoyed or irritable? 
  • Feeling afraid as if something awful might happen? 
  • Do you continue to suffer with distress as a result of the British Airways data breach?
  • If you are no longer suffering distress as a result of the data breach, approximately how long did it take for you to recover from the distress caused by the breach?

I am beginning to look forward to the court case now ….

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Comments (92)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • The real John says:

    I am suffering distress because my phone has become a single point of failure for most online services.

  • Nick says:

    I’m really stressed, annoyed & irritable this morning due to having to reset my BA Executive Club password, again, due to the data breach at global technology company SITA!

    • Stu says:

      Indeed, what an absolute farce that was. So first BA wouldn’t let me in, so I hit ‘forgot password’ and followed the email link to reset. Input my new password, then it wanted to ‘make sure it was me’ by texting me a code. Having input this code, it then wanted my old password which, had I ‘actually’ forgotten my password, I wouldn’t know anyway! Then when I input the old password, it gave me an error message saying my new password was the same as my old one … it wasn’t! I’d had a couple of glasses of wine by the time the BA email came through and I was almost ready to launch my phone across the room during the process. I then had to repeat said process for my partner … 40 minutes plus out of my Friday evening, I was fecking raging!

      • southlondonphil says:

        Sometimes it pays to procrastinate. Got the email, figured I’d get round to it sometime over the weekend, opened bottle of wine, sat down and watched Deutschland 89.

        Woke up this morning, attempted to log on to BAEC website usuing my usual member Number / Password combo – got straight in, no hassles.

        • Jill (Kinkell) says:

          Yup, faffed about last night. Couldn’t be bothered with all the rigmarole, and decided to leave it till this morning. Read your post…tried… Bingo…Sorted!.And, to cheer me up further, checked out availability of F from HKG, and double Bingo! Seats appeared. Changed our 241 return leg from CW to F. Just need to hope HKG let’s us in next year.

      • Nicky says:

        Same for me, I thought it was just me being dim. Really cheesed off because in effect I had to change the password twice and it told me that I could only receive 3 codes before it locked me out so had to wait an hour before I could try again. They certainly didn’t make it clear

      • Mark says:

        Unsurprisingly, I think you misunderstood what was happening :-). Bizarrely, it forced two password changes, firstly by locking everyone out of their accounts you have to go through the ‘forgotten password’ route – that wasn’t at all clear from the email.

        Then, once you’ve change you password, it then takes you through another password reset this time also requiring a code that is texted to your mobile number.

        The worse experience was changing my Virgin Atlantic password which reported bizarre ‘undefined’ warnings at me. Only when I then told it I’d forgotten my password did it become clear that ‘@’ signs are not valid as a special character, of which you must have at least one in your password (but not more than 3 mind…).

        What is it with airlines and crap IT…?

        • Rob says:

          The 2nd password change wasn’t required. You were able to re-use the first new password you chose.

    • Alex Sm says:

      Any chance for some consolation Avios packs if we file a complaint to BA? I couldn’t log in for several hours

  • BS says:

    This does strike me as scraping the barrel a bit, as other world events in the interim are far more likely to have affected mental health.

    That said, I have had phone calls/texts at least once a week asking if I’ve been involved in an accident, HMRC telling me I’m owed a refund, Lloyds that I need to authorise a transaction, Royal Mail that I’ve got a package, all starting around the time of the BA breach (although I have no proof it is related…). If I were less resilient, I really could see such harassment affecting people mentally.

    • Rupert says:

      At least you haven’t been threatened with arrest from the National Crime Agency, and had your national insurance number suspended. 🙁

  • Nick says:

    Dear Customer,

    We take the protection of your data very seriously.

    We have been notified of a data breach at global technology company SITA, an IT services provider to many airlines around the world. SITA is not British Airways’ booking and reservations system provider and SITA’s breach does not involve our customers’ financial information or password as SITA does not have access to this data. Please be reassured that this incident was not a breach of British Airways’ systems.

    Along with many other airlines, we do share limited information with partner airlines in order to enhance your experience when flying with them. We have been notified by SITA that some British Airways Executive Club Members’ names, membership numbers and some of their preferences, such as seating, has been impacted.

    The password you use for your account is not held by SITA and has not been put at risk by this breach.

    As a precaution, given the potential that customers have re-used passwords used for other websites, we are taking the following action to protect you:
    Please log into your account and reset your password
    Please create a new password that you have not used elsewhere
    Once your password has been reset and you have completed a verification step, you will be able to regain full access to your account

    We know fraudsters try to use situations like this to their advantage. We will not contact you by phone and ask for your password – please do not reveal your password to anyone claiming to be from British Airways. If you need to contact us, you can do so via our contact centres.

    We are sorry for the inconvenience caused and thank you for your continued support and cooperation in helping us to keep your information safe and secure.

    British Airways

    • Alan says:

      Yep I’ve had similar emails from AA, SQ, A3…

      Glad I use Bitwarden and have strong & unique passwords for each website!

      • Alex Sm says:

        A3 did not ask to change passwords despite the breach affecting them more directly than BA! (Another Star Alliance airline is apparently a client of SITA’s)

    • Chris H says:

      I am glad I logged in to this chat as I thought it was another phishing email. I always look for the quality of the English and the second sentence “SITA is not British Airways’ booking and reservations system provider” sound fishy for BRITISH Airways, and must have been written by someone for whom English is not their first language. BA, come on!
      I tend to report every email I am not expecting when it “reads wrong”. I guess though from this page that it is genuine, and I will take note and change my password. Thank HfP for the post which just happened to coincide with this email from BA.

      • Paul says:

        Whats wrong with the sentance? Reads fine to me…(!)

        • Mikeact says:

          According to Oxford dictionary..Sentance, is not a word. Now you’ve got me really stressed out and head is spinning…might have to lie down.

        • Chris H says:

          “SITA is not British Airways’ booking and reservations system provider”
          should read “SITA is not a (or the) British Airways’ booking and reservations system provider”. Most spam and phishing emails are from other countries and the accent and poor English comes through which always raises alarm bells for me. It is just to much there no speaking me proper and me having stress to much more.

  • TimM says:

    It is the opposite of a ‘representative sample’ when you call for the most extreme cases to volunteer themselves. I agree, it makes for an as-good-as-soap-opera court case. The invitation is clearly to lay it on as thickly as possible.

    • Doug M says:

      Know little of the law, but this would seem to undo the class action part in fairness terms. Pick a random sample group fair enough, if you load the sample group then that can’t be representative of the group as a whole. Where you try to choose certain aspects of the damage done, rather than the overall financial cost of it how does that work with a class action and distribution of any settlement.

  • Colin MacKinnon says:

    I’m upset because BA never respond to a refund request for a wrongly charged last-minute change fee!
    But I get even more upset dealing with lawyers!

  • Scott says:

    Have to say, that other than booking emails, this is the first thing I’ve had off BA in well over 2 years!

    Only issues it caused me was how much of a pain in the neck it was logging in after they kindly locked me out.

  • Erico1875 says:

    “I cant sleep at night and have had to give up my job due to the BA data breach in 2018”
    Doesn’t that just sound so pathetic?

    • ThinkSquare says:

      Erico: it would be OK if you were BA senior management 😏

    • Chris Heyes says:

      Erico1875 I simplify with you not sleeping at night my Brother-in-law retired at 68 in December and he can’t sleep at night like you, because he’s now retired you could say “he’s lost his job” as well as you
      I’m of course very sorry you had to give up “your job” all is not lost though there are some very good solicitors who are willing to help you, just get in touch tic

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