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Thu 7 Jan 2016 01:51 PM

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Etihad said to probe possible leak of customer data by supplier

Abu Dhabi airline reportedly says incident happened during 2013 promotional campaign

Etihad said to probe possible leak of customer data by supplier

Etihad Airways is investigating a possible data leak by a third party company that worked with the airline on a promotional campaign in 2013.

Gulf News revealed on Wednesday that the personal details of thousands of people who took part in the campaign had been leaked in a breach of security at Dubai-based marketing solutions firm EmailCiti.

Arabian Business has contacted EmailCiti for a statement.

An Etihad spokesperson said the possible breach affected “a small number” of members of its loyalty programme, Etihad Guest, but that the airline had taken “immediate action” to address the issue.

The spokesperson added: “Etihad Airways is investigating a possible compromise of information belonging to a small number of members of its loyalty programme.

“The data is three years old, does not include sensitive or financial information, and presents no threat to the security of Etihad Guest member’s accounts.

“Etihad Guest takes the security and privacy of its members very seriously and has taken immediate action to address any concerns.

“It also appears this information was misappropriated from a marketing vendor involved in a promotional campaign in 2013.

“As a consequence, Etihad Airways is considering all its legal options as a matter of priority.”

The data was emailed to Gulf News, the newspaper said, and includes phone numbers and IP addresses, which can be used to locate home addresses.

EmailCiti had not responded to Arabian Business at the time of publication of this article, but Omar Al Shoukbaki, CEO of EmailCiti told Gulf News the breach is being handled by the company’s legal team and further questions should be addressed to EmailCiti founder Khaled Jabasini.

It reported that Jabasini said the leaked personal details came from a promotional website EmailCiti had built for Etihad in 2013. He said it is unclear when the breach took place.

All parties involved in the promotion had access to the data, he was quoted as saying, and added that his company is continuing to work on other projects with Etihad.

An Etihad spokesperson told Arabian Business that this is incorrect, and that Etihad is no longer working with EmailCiti.

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