orbitz site

Orbitz and Expedia Reach $110,000 Settlement with Pennsylvania AG Over 2017 Data Breach

The travel companies were fined for lax data security practices that potentially led to a breach affecting 880,000 payment cards globally.

Travel websites Orbitz and Expedia have reached a settlement with the Pennsylvania attorney general’s office that concludes an investigation into a 2018 data breach, state Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced Friday.

Orbitz disclosed in March 2018 that a breach may have compromised data for 20,755 Pennsylvania users and up to 880,000 payment cards across the globe. Expedia has owned Orbitz and its assets since a sale in September 2015, according to the attorney’s office.

Shapiro and his team have fined the companies $110,000, including an $80,000 civil penalty, as punishment for lax data security policies that did not adequately protect customer information.

As part of the settlement, Expedia and Orbitz committed to strengthening their cybersecurity practices, including implementing a comprehensive security program on Orbitz’s website. In addition, the companies must conduct an annual comprehensive risk assessment, reorganize its network to be more segmented, and deploy better access control and account management tools.

“Someone broke into Orbitz’ IT system and vacationed in what was supposed to be a safe place for travelers,” Shapiro said in a statement. “The breach showed the company’s promise to keep customer information secure was more like a leaky boat. We work every day to protect Pennsylvania consumers and to seek justice when any company misrepresents itself.”

Shapiro’s settlement follows in the footsteps of other attorneys general who have gone after companies for data breaches in recent years. In July, all 50 state attorneys general declared victory after reaching a $650 million settlement with Equifax, the consumer reporting agency that suffered a 2017 breach affecting 147 million customers.

Orbitz, which did not provide comment on the sesttlement, first began to investigate a breach in 2017 after discovering that an older website, which hosted its travel rewards redemption service, and the platform of an unnamed business partner were breached, according to Fortune. The stolen information included names, dates of birth, email addresses and street addresses in addition to payment card information.

About the Author

Haley Samsel is an Associate Content Editor for the Infrastructure Solutions Group at 1105 Media.

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