/ 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?


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

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!!!!

£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.

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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

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?

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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

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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!

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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

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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.

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!!!

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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.

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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.

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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?

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“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:


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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

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I was with talk talk and when the scandal happened, I straight away told them to shove their insecure network where the sun does not shine. Two years later, I have tried to rejoin them as sky have peev’d me off, but I am not allowed to join because my old account went to debt collectors. I spent a few frustrating days trying to get a new account, and when I said that I had spoken to managers, and was expecting call backs, which never happened until Sunday night, I was still getting the same answer, that I no longer owe talk talk money as they sold the debt to a collection agency and that I should call them instead. The customer service is still terrible and you cannot get an British call center, you have to talk to a bunch of indians, whom can hardly speak English let alone understand it. Talk talk is still a joke, and you would have expected that new customers would have been greeted by a British person, to have given the best customer experience, and then sent them to hell if they have problems.

It’s not so easy to delete the account (and thereby supposedly deleting the previously kept data.) If you check status of deletion you stop the deletion.

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Margo Sheridan says:
16 April 2018

Facebook have removed “Apps other uses” and I can’t find “Apps, websites and plug ins”

I hadn’t signed in or used my Facebook account for 2 years, as I was already concerned with how they used my personal data and I eventually deleted my Facebook account last week. Having read the Guardian article this morning which confirmed what a liar Mark Zuckerberg is, I certainly hope he looses many more people and Facebook’s share take a serious hit.
He blatantly lied to the US Congress on two points:
1. Telling them that the fault with Cambridge Analitaca’s mining of personal Facebook data was the fault of Cambridge University, when a communication from the university’s ethics committee in 2015 cast doubt on Analitaca’s scale of collection of personal data was legal, and declined to be involved with either Facebook or Cambridge Analitaca.
2. He told the same US Congress that with the upcoming change in the EU protection of citizens personal data, when asked what he was going to do told them he would adhere to the EU’s data regulations and would roll out a similar guide worldwide. Then promptly did the opposite, by taking all European Facebook accounts and placing them under US jurisdiction which has very lax data protection laws…
This man, Mark Zuckerberg can not be trusted with our data, he is an habitual liar who has no knowledge of the truth.

Peter Pratt says:
25 April 2018

Facebook has twice sent me the notice that they have changed the way they deal with my data but do not say how. It then asks me to accept this statement. I will not do that as I do not know what it all means.

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Lizzie Ross says:
9 May 2018

Since all this I have lost my favourite games and can’t see my answers to posts, it’s just a shambles. I am growing very impatient with them. As someone who relies on contact with the outer world, sometimes, through Facebook – I can be housebound, it annoys me greatly that I can not even comment or like what my actual, I may add, friends are doing!! I am also an admin for a mental health forum, and it would be very useful if I could actually see my comments come up after posting! As i then can’t see what their response is either!! I am alerted that I have a response, but I can’t see it!! Really driving me (even) madder!! Oh I’ve reported it, 2 weeks ago and nothings happened. Things weren’t so bad before. I’m not going to leave, I’ve adjusted my privacy settings, which were pretty tight before.

I’m glad to see this article. I hope Which will do a similar article about cookies in general, not just Facebook related ones. This is important now that GDPR is the law now.

A friend of mine in their eighties has just been scammed for £20,000 and i believe it all began from Talk Talks leak of their personal details.

Given their age a prime target. I wondered also if they had used the on-line pharmacy2u for prescriptions. It actually which actually sold patient details. It may be worth checking that aspect. BTW what type of scam? False shares, fiddle on the Bank account.?