/ Money, Technology

Update: TalkTalk offers compensation for data breach – but is it enough?

TalkTalk logo

After being hit by a cyber-attack that saw hackers access the details of thousands of its customers, TalkTalk has come out with an offer of compensation. But is it enough?

TalkTalk has today said it will take a hit of up to £35m after last month’s data breach. The attack saw the details of 156,959 customers (including names, emails and phone numbers) and 15,656 bank account numbers accessed by hackers.

Compensation for TalkTalk customers

The telecoms company previously offered 12 months of free credit monitoring alerts. But for customers who wanted leave, TalkTalk said it would only waive termination fees for customers who had had money stolen directly from their account.

Quite frankly, that was the bare minimum. We’ve previously said that all affected customers should be able to leave their contract without penalty, and that TalkTalk should consider offering appropriate compensation.

And on that final point, TalkTalk has today announced an offer of free upgrades for its customers (without any additional commitments).

TalkTalk’s chief exec Dido Harding said:

‘In recognition of the unavoidable uncertainty, and because we know that doing what is right for our customers will ensure the best possible outcome for the company over the longer term, we are today announcing the offer of a choice of free upgraded services to all our customers.’

Free upgrades for TalkTalk customers

So what’s on offer? You’ll be able to add one of the following to your existing service: TV content including movies and sports; a mobile SIM with free texts, data and calls; unlimited UK landline and mobile calls; or a broadband health check.

The upgrades are open to all of TalkTalk’s customers, not just those affected by the hack, from 1 December.

The question is – do you think this is enough? Is a TV, mobile or landline package upgrade enough to appease you after TalkTalk’s data breach? Are you a customer that’s seriously considering leaving, or are you happy with how TalkTalk has dealt with the cyber-attack?

Do you think that TalkTalk's compensation offer is enough for its customers?

No (83%, 4,254 Votes)

Yes (10%, 529 Votes)

Don't know (7%, 345 Votes)

Total Voters: 5,128

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Update: 6 October 2016

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has issued a record £400,000 fine to TalkTalk for its failure to protect customer data, after its data breach last October.

According to the ICO, security failings by TalkTalk allowed a hacker to access customer data ‘with ease’. The investigation by the ICO found that customer data was taken from a database that was inherited when TalkTalk acquired Tiscali in 2009. The attacker targeted three vulnerable webpages allowing customers names, address, dates of birth, phone numbers, email address, as well as some 15,000 bank account details and sort codes.

Our Managing Director of Home & Legal Services, Alex Neill, said:

‘It is right that the ICO has slapped this record fine on TalkTalk for failing to protect their customers’ data. However, this will be cold comfort for TalkTalk customers who suffered at the hands of this breach and feel they haven’t been treated fairly. Businesses must do more to help individuals affected by data breaches.’

Do you think that TalkTalk’s £400,000 fine accurately reflects the loss of over 150,000 people’s data including over 15,000 bank account details?

john baker says:
22 November 2016

yes we get sow speed 2mb from talktalk have ask them to speed it up but they told me can not so askd about fibe but cant get it as bt has not done the box so I think we should get subbsized by bt as well

Chistiansen says:
27 November 2016

Am honestly confused as how much the fine for Talk-talk is good enough; because those internet/media all have let us down….we are watched, listened too and why? How to fine all that/them? Talk-Talk is one of them so fine all of them…so they leave us alone!!!!

Andrew C Mackenzie says:
10 December 2016

£400,000 fine is not given to the people who had had their details stolen and could be now compromised.
Bigger fine is required and it should be given to the people not the Government for their hidden agendas.


Andrew-thats the difference between US Law and British Law , US Law dictates when there is a public loss the PUBLIC must be compensated thats Common Justice and equitable enforcement of the Law , enshrined in the US Bill of Rights /Declaration of Independence , in this country its give to the rich and take from the poor or “Serf Law ” .

bishbut says:
22 October 2017

Fines do not deter most large organisations They do not deter the well off They only hit thowe who cannot afford to pay Long prison sentences mandatory ones should deter most of them

Deborah Harvey says:
15 December 2016

I have had terrible trouble trying to find an email address for yahoo to make an official complaint. If all else fails start digging is my moto! Anyway in case anyone else wants to email the Chief Executive of yahoo both here and the US the emails are as follows:
Ms Marissa Mayer – Marissa.mayer@yahoo-inc.com and for the UK it’s
Mr Nigel Clarkson – nclarkson@yahoo-inc.com

Best of luck everyone

elisabeth maclay says:
15 December 2016

If I change my email address how can l inform all my reciepients?


Elisabeth you will need to individually contact all your recipients and let them know your new email address . I have already checked out changing my email address for my power supplier they didn’t have a problem with that .


So fed up about this, then I tried to write to yahoo but not surprisingly I could find no way of doing this so I kept on digging and found the email addresses of the US & UK CEO they are
US – Ms Marissa Mayer email Marissa.mayer@yahoo-inc.com
UK – Mr Neil Clarkson email nclarkson@yahoo-inc.com


Deborah if I was you I would remove Yahoo -ASAP its totally bad news and the latest news -separate from the September 2014 breach is that 1 BILLION Yahoo user accounts have been hacked and thats according to Chief Information Security Officer of Yahoo Bob Lord -names , telephone numbers- email addresses -dates of birth ( a “godsend ” to any info gatherer ) -passwords even encrypted in MD5 ,which I have found out is useless nowadays with powerful computers that the hackers use , they use the same methods as the FBI/CIA –brute force . They have been warned by web based business security companies that they have poor security I have a whole webpage of info on this if anybody is interested ? BUT thats not all did you know that Yahoo co-operates so well with the NSA that they even designed an app for them to make it very easy to intercept ALL Yahoo emails and decipher them if they are coded . So you have zero privacy –and thats official. So folks don’t wonder how Scammers can get your personal details.

[Sorry Duncan, we’ve tweaked your comment to align with our Community Guidelines. Thanks, mods]

Deb Harvey says:
16 December 2016

Cheers Duncan, I am in the process of closing it down and moving all my contacts over to my Gmail or live account. I just hope they are safer!


Even Verizon now has second thoughts about buying Yahoo Deb and that is a massive US company . Gmail is a lot safer but like all US email companies (most ) their data is collected by the US government.

teresa Caiazzo says:
19 December 2016

My Account with Yahoo very often get mixed up with somebody else’s
Some others time while answering to my emails the all screen disappears ,some became confusing and comes up with different unknown people some others of my emails went to the wrong person. Very dangerous and unprofessionasl. I do not believe YAHOO allowed such a MESS


Teresa , change your password right away if this is happening and don’t use an easy one , use upper and lower case and symbols as well as numbers+ letters. your email account has been hacked.

Joan says:
29 March 2017

I was with talk talk 13 yes. I was scammed the w/end they were last fined ( 04/10/17). Contacted the c e o but nothing
I left them .

Joanne says:
21 May 2017

£400,000 fine is not given to the people who had had their details stolen and could be now compromised.
Much bigger fine is required and it should be given to the people not the Government for their hidden agendas.

john oatham says:
23 June 2017

This fine is not good enough! Why should the state benefit from my loss of data. I have have been plagued by scam phone calls and pop-ups ever since, Every customer (and ex-customer) should get a minimum of £20 cash for trouble caused!!!


How its done in America John– That great upholder of US citizens rights goes to great lengths to protect is citizens from companies being hacked and their data sold off. Privacy+Data Security Update-2015 is truly awesome , so much so I have downloaded the full legislation and YES !! Ladies+ Gentlemen that includes MONETARY financial address . The powers they have , the departments of US government that help bring the culprits to book is something out of “Star Wars ” its in a league of its own and if that isnt enough a company challenged the FTC -they lost twice in court , their third appeal is ongoing but the FTC say- right even if we cant levy a fine ( very large in the USA ) we will supervise your company for TWENTY YEARS – so there ! Dont tell me -well thats America and this is the UK , America ,owns,runs, large conglomerates here and other businesses , Hedge fund owners in the USA control a lot of UK business – but what do you get here – ??? the government cant afford it . I have said it before and I will say it again , while I dont like US foreign policy there are more and more things I Do like about US Law in regards to citizen protection and prosecution of those doing wrong , FTC – great US Government organisation !! – For the People -by the People. I also have the info on- Court says the FTC can slap (large ) fines on companies(US) getting hacked -saying its not our fault doesn’t wash in the USA.


I would be more interested to know how UK laws and policy compare with that in our neighbours in Europe. We can’t have the benefit of US-style law enforcement but we could make sure we are near the top of the table in the European league.


John we run the same capitalist system as the USA , we copy the USA in most things but the big difference is that US citizens know how corrupt and sly their own commercial organisations are and over many decades of exposure their laws now protect them from the harshness of USA.inc. But the UK with the same practices imported doesn’t have the civil legal defenses in place and is a “piece of cake ” to American big business practices we are more like a “banana republic ” in that regard or one of the US,s “protectorates ” which are only of use to be exploited . I wouldn’t mind so much if the US went the whole hog and took over the UK and introduced US laws but we are well behind in protection of the public from the full blast of US commercialism. Many influential Americans admit that but it never seems to reach the shores of this country.


Yes, I understand your point of view, Duncan, but other European countries of the same size and wealth as us might provide better and more relevant examples. The UK is not the only American ‘colony’ in Europe. The big US corporations are everywhere and it is their size rather than their behaviours that makes it impractical to curb them; I am just wondering how other countries with the same problem deal with it.

We frequently talk about the adverse consequences of the growth and domination of big business but it would be useful to consider how the trends can be halted and the process reversed.


Well blow me down with a feather -Yale University had globalization all figured out in 2004 , their treatise on it it was logically correct in that the Common Market is a protection against it–at the time . But as you know John Merkel and the EU have caved in to US Big Business demands , what you might not know is that I know for a fact “pressure” was applied via- if you dont agree then we(the USA ) will have to take trade measures against you -aka- trade sanctions . This put the”fear of death into Merkel+co and they caved in causing street protests in Germany ( remember I watch German satellite) still ongoing today . I notice that the original 2004 article has been “hidden ” by the bigger browsers and you are directed to a “more acceptable ” Yale Globalisation story -ie- very cut down , plenty of nice pictures but little hard facts.


I am not surprised, but I wonder how other EU countries’ legal systems cope. Perhaps they are stymied as much as we are. I am thinking of how Amazon is virtually untouchable here because it refuses to cooperate with our trading standards conventions and no local authority has the wherewithal to challenge it. Does France put up with this? And Italy?

We’ve had big American corporations over here for generations [Ford, Colgate Palmolive, Hoover, Esso to name but four]. They didn’t behave like that. I think the internet has changed everything. The companies I criticise are not manufacturing here, have few career employees here, and are basically marketing operations. They are free to operate elsewhere and from more lenient jurisdictions. My concern is whether this is the only way forward or whether we can turn it around. The real question is – why do we persist in doing business with them?


France just voted in a leader who made out he was for the people and ,with help , played up the “evil ” far -right , who just happened to like Putin but America won out much as his supposed image says he is “America,s choice ” so is not opposing globalisation but tell that to the farmers who voted far-right and are pretty “bolshie ” when it comes to protests. No, he was voted in by a large majority of female voters who like conformity . Italy on the other hand is not so amenable to globalisation and the country is
split -North to South and is more Putin friendly . As the excellent Yale article says its the poor that have to pay as well as the farmers and accept being run by US conglomerates . You are absolutely right the Internet changes everything , the “old ways ” are being reduced and remote commercial exploitation is the future, cheaper , less tax , less laws to conform to and easier to hide money , no wonder its loved by US Big Business , even an email today from the White House says that US LPG is the way to control the world supplies and “the Donald ” is trying to sell it to China to cut off Putin,s supply to that country as he is intentionally hampering North Stream 2 .


“The real question is – why do we persist in doing business with them?”

Yeah that!


Yes, Duncan. We all know where we are, and most know how we got here, but I want to know how we get back to where we were, or at least stop going any further in the wrong direction. If we cannot stop or reverse globalisation there is not much point in continually condemning it without having an alternative plan.

I suggest we stop here because we are way past the topic boundaries.


Just a quick aside to Duncan: the Yale centre for Globalisation studies is here:



Thats the picturesque one I mentioned as the one ordinary browsers are directing you to Ian instead of the “real one ” Ian I am talking of the original Yale Global Treatise on Globalisation on the US introduction of Globalisation in 2004 , I can well understand that they would try to hide the original its too honest and goes deeply into US intentions of total world dominance in commerce its a very long text webpage . The one you point that URL at is the later “propagandist ” approved version . Just one example in the modern day strategy of re-direction to “approved ” writings on the web. REAL webpage : http://yaleglobal.yale.edu/content/globalization-europes-wary-embrace if you still dont get the right webpage change browsers or search engine.


Thanks, Duncan, but that already exists within the linked pages I sent you. They’ve simply set up a portal to house the rapidly expanding library on globalisation, I suspect. Your link works perfectly with Google, BTW so I doubt any strategy is at work.


Any fines should not be going to government, but to compensate individuals who’ve incurred any financial loss themselves or mental stress caused.

graham says:
22 October 2017

got a high call on a bill and I have looked on internet and phone company cant tell me who they are stupid high rates looked on internet the number but doesn’t come up company which seems strange just wanted to report and warn others number is 08444725863 so anyone no how to find company so can leave bad reviews etc and warn others


Graham I would not advise anybody to dial that number unless they are rich. In two incidences the same code ( NOT the same number ) relates to German companies / OR , if you take the -0844 – it can cost 55p/minute. I MUST advice poster/readers on Which there is a SCAM going about where a poster quotes a number on a website and asks somebody to “check it out ” NEVER-NEVER – ring the number helping to increase his/her bank balance. Seemingly simple numbers can hide diversion to high Premium numbers . YOU !! have been warned.