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Travel agency Flight Centre fesses to human error data flight

POTENTIAL PATHWAY TO PARADISES, the travel agency Flight Centre has admitted to a customer data breach that it brought upon itself.

Jeez guys. Give yourselves a break. It’s probably easier to just say that someone hacked you these days. Everyone is at it. Still, it’s your decision, and apparently, it’s an official statement. At this stage, we do not have the official statement but we have asked for it.

There are a number of international reports about it, including ones in the UK and Australia, though, and they all say that Flight Centre has jumped into its own propellers and taken this one on the chin.

ABC News in Australia has a statement and a comment from an affected user. It would be great to get this kind of double decker. Let us know if you have been affected by this incident in the comments if you are feeling generous. ABC adds that as far as it knows, there is passport data out there.

How it got out there is not exactly clear, but what we can tell you – second hand – is that Flight Centre has confirmed that things went awry when some data was sent the way of some third parties. Flight Centre is contrite in its down understatement and all this is going to look ridiculous when the company gets back to us.

“We sought and received assurances from the suppliers that they did not retain copies. While we believe the risk that this information will be misused is relatively low given the circumstances, we chose to inform the affected customers so they could take additional precautions if they considered it appropriate,” a spokesman said.

“The steps people should take have been outlined in the letters they have received.”

Nikki Racco, a Flight Centre customer who got the letter and spoke to ABC was a bit more open about the content of the letter. “[The letter told] me they had mistakenly made some customers’ details available to a third party, which included revealing our passport numbers,” she said.

“[I] am absolutely dismayed that once again we are ‘forced’ to provide this information as part of a service and yet there can no longer be any expectation that this information can be kept safe.”

We are still waiting, and willing to update our article with the official comment from Flight Centre. Or better, a couple of nice returns to somewhere if it is in sharing mood… µ



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