ICO - Monetary Penalty on Ticketmaster UK Limited

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ICO - Monetary Penalty on Ticketmaster UK Limited
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Authority: ICO (UK)
Jurisdiction: United Kingdom
Relevant Law: Article 4(2) GDPR
Article 5(1)(f) GDPR
Article 5(2) GDPR
Article 32(1)(d) GDPR
DPA 3 (4)
Type: Investigation
Outcome: Violation Found
Decided: 13.11.2020
Published: 13.11.2020
Fine: 1250000 GBP
Parties: Ticketmaster UK Limited
National Case Number/Name: Monetary Penalty on Ticketmaster UK Limited
European Case Law Identifier: n/a
Appeal: n/a
Original Language(s): English
Original Source: The ICO (in EN)
Initial Contributor: Mariam Tabatadze

The Information Commissioner’s Office imposed a fine of £1.25million on Ticketmaster UK Limited for failing to protect its customers’ personal data, breaching GDPR.

English Summary[edit | edit source]

Facts[edit | edit source]

  • Ticketmaster is a company selling tickets online of events around the world. By its activities, which includes collecting, storing and using the personal data of its individual consumers, for the purpose of online selling, the company is a controller in respect of personal data of its customers, within the meaning of the Article 4(2; 7) GDPR. Ticketmaster was using chat-bot system on its payment page.
  • The costumer companies of Ticketmaster started reporting fraudulent transactions in February 2018. The Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Monzo Bank, Barclaycard, Mastercard and American Express all reported suggestions of fraud to Ticketmaster. But the company failed to identify the problem and in total, it took Ticketmaster nine weeks from being alerted to possible fraud to monitoring the network traffic through its online payment page.
  • 9.4 million EEA data subjects were notified as having been potentially affected by the Personal Data Breach, of whom 1.5 million data subjects originated in the United Kingdom.
  • Ticketmaster has received approximately 997 complaints alleging financial loss and/or emotional distress.
  • Ticketmaster notified the Commissioner of the Attack on 23 June 2018 by an email
  • In response, the Commissioner commenced an investigation into the incident. That investigation included various exchanges with Ticketmaster and considering detailed submissions and evidence.


Dispute[edit | edit source]

The ICO has to determine if the company took all appropriate security measures to protect data while processing and to identify and prevent a cyber-attack on a chat-bot installed on its online payment page.

Holding[edit | edit source]

The Commissioner held that in respect of the Incident, Ticketmaster had failed to comply with its obligations under Article 5(1)(f) and Article 32 of GDPR.

  1. Article 5 (1) : Ticketmaster has failed to comply with the requirements of GDPR including to process personal data in a manner that ensures appropriate security of the data, including protection against unauthorised or unlawful processing, using appropriate technical or organisational measures." The ICO highlighted that some measures were in place prior to the Personal Data Breach, but they were insufficient in the circumstances.
  2. Article 32: by the requirements of that article the company to have ensure the ongoing confidentiality, integrity, availability and resilience of processing systems and services, section 1 (d) of the article requires the regular testing, assessing and evaluating the effectiveness of technical and organisational controls for ensuring the security of processing of data; "The controller and the processor shall implement appropriate technical and organisational measures to ensure a level of security appropriate to the risk' taking into account "the state of the art"; (the state of the art includes knowledge, actual and constructive, of attack vectors) While implementing third party JavaScripts into a website or chat bot the company had to assess the security risk before using such systems, but failed. The company filed to identify the source of suggested fraudulent activity in a timely manner and to notify and Commissioner earlier.

Although the breach began in February 2018, the penalty only relates to the breach from 25 May 2018, when new rules under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into effect. The chat-bot was completely removed from Ticketmaster UK Limited’s website on 23 June 2018.

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English Machine Translation of the Decision[edit | edit source]

The decision below is a machine translation of the English original. Please refer to the English original for more details.

ICO.
Information Commissioner's Office
PENAL1YNOTICE
Section 155, Data protection Act 2018
Case ref:
COM0759008
Organisation name and address:
Ticketmaster UK Limited,
30 St. John Street, London, EC1M 4-AY
13 November 2020
1 
INTRODUCTION & SUMMARY
1.1 This Penalty Notice is given to Ticketmaster (UK) Limited
("Ticketmaster") pursuant to section 155 and Schedule 16 of the
Data Protection Act 2018 (the "DPA"). It relates to infringements of
the General Data Protection Regulation (the "GDPR"), which came to
the attention of the Information Commissioner ("the
Commissioner").
1.2 The Commissioner considers that Ticketmaster was the controller, in
respect of personal data of its customers, within the meaning of
section 6 DPA and Article 4(7) GDPR, as Ticketmaster determined the
purposes and means of the processing of the personal data. By, inter
alia, performing operations or sets of operations on personal data
such as collecting, storing and using the personal data of its
individual customers, Ticketmaster is and was processing personal
data within the meaning of section 3(4) DPA and Article (4)(2) GDPR.
1.3 This Penalty Notice arises out of an incident from 25 May 2018 to 23
June 2018, affecting personal data processed by Ticketmaster during
that period (the "Incident"). The total duration of the personal data
breach was between February 2018 and 23 June 2018 ("the
Personal Data Breach"); however, the dates under consideration
for the purposes of this Penalty Notice were from 25 May 2018 to 23
June 2018. Of the data subjects affected during the Incident:
1.3.1 9.4 million EEA data subjects were notified as having been
potentially affected by the Personal Data Breach, of whom
1.5 million data subjects originated in the United Kingdom.
1.3.2 Barclays Bank have advised that around 60,000 individual
card details had been compromised.
1.3.3 Monzo Bank have advised that around 6,000 cards have had
to be replaced in relation to Ticketmaster transaction fraud.
1.3.4 Ticketmaster has received approximately 997 complaints
alleging financial loss and/or emotional distress.
1.3.5 Ticketmaster have been unable to provide the
Commissioner with a breakdown of the individuals affected
during the period from 25 May 2018 to 23 June 2018.
2 
1.4 For the reasons set out in this Penalty Notice, the Commissioner has
found that Ticketmaster failed to process personal data in a manner
that ensured appropriate security of the personal data, including
protection against unauthorised or unlawful processing and against
accidental loss, destruction or damage, using appropriate technical
and organisational measures as required by Article 5(1)(f) and Article
32 GDPR.
1.5 The Commissioner has found that, in all the circumstances, and
having regard, in particular, to Ticketmaster's representations and
the matters listed in Article 83(1) and (2) GDPR, the infringements
constitute a serious failure to comply with the GDPR and, accordingly,
that the imposition of a penalty is appropriate. The Commissioner has
decided to impose a penalty under Article 83(5) GDPR. The amount
of the penalty that the Commissioner has decided to impose is
£1,250,000.00.
1.6 Pursuant to Article 54 GDPR, the Commissioner is acting as lead
supervisory authority in respect of the cross-border processing at
issue in this case with regard to Ticketmaster.
2 LEGAL FRAMEWORK
GDPR
2.1 On 25 May 2018, the GDPR entered into force, replacing the previous
EU law data protection regime that applied under Directive 95/46/EC
("Data Protection Directive") 1 . The GDPR seeks to harmonise the
protection of fundamental rights in respect of personal data across
EU Member States and, unlike the Data Protection Directive, is
directly applicable in every Member State.2
2.2 The GDPR was developed and enacted in the context of challenges
to the protection of personal data posed by, in particular:
a. the substantial increase in cross-border flows of personal data
resulting from the functioning of the internal market; 3 and
1 Directive 95/46/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 October 1995 on the
protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement
of such data.
2 Recital 3.
3 Recital 5.
3 
b. the rapid technological developments which have occurred
during a period of globalisation.4 As Recital (6) explains: " ... The
scale of the collection
significantly.
and sharing
Technology
of personal data
both
has
increased allows private
companies and public authorities to make use of personal data
on an unprecedented scale in order to pursue their activities .... "
2.3 Such developments made it necessary for "a strong and more
coherent data protection framework in the Union, backed by strong
enforcement, given the importance of creating the trust that will
allow the digital economy to develop across the internal market. .. ". 5
2.4 Against that background, the GDPR imposed more stringent duties
on controllers and significantly increased the penalties that could be
imposed for a breach of the obligations imposed on controllers
(amongst others). 6
The relevant obligations
2.5 Chapter 1 GDPR sets out the general provisions. Article 5 of Chapter
II GDPR sets out the principles relating to the processing of personal
data. Article 5 (1) lists the six basic principles that controllers must
comply with in processing personal data, including:
1. Personal data shall be:
... (f) processed in a manner that ensures appropriate security
of the personal protection
damage, using appropriate technical or
data, including against
unauthorised or unlawful processing and against accidental
loss, destruction or
organisational measures ('integrity and confidentiality')
2.6 Article 5 (2) GDPR makes it clear that the "controller shall be
responsible for, and be able to demonstrate compliance with,
paragraph 1 ('accountability')".
2. 7 Chapter IV, Section 1 addresses the general obligations of
controllers and processors. Article 24 sets out the responsibility of
controllers for taking appropriate steps to ensure and be able to
demonstrate that processing is compatible with the GDPR. Articles
28-29 make separate provision for the processing of data by
processors, under the instructions of the controller.
4 Recital 6.
5 Recital 7.
6 See, in particular, Recitals 11, 148, 150, and Article 5, Chapter IV and Article 83.
4 
2.8 Chapter IV, Section 2 addresses security of personal data. Article 32
GDPR provides:
1. Taking into account the state of the art, the costs of
of implementation and the nature, scope, context and
purposes of processing as well as the risk of varying
likelihood and severity for the rights and freedoms of natural
persons, the controller and the processor shall implement
appropriate technical and organisational measures to ensure
a level of security appropriate to the risk, including inter alia
as appropriate:
(a) the pseudonymisation and encryption of personal data;
(b) the ability to ensure the ongoing confidentiality,
integrity, availability and resilience of processing
systems and services;
(c)
(d) a process for regularly testing, assessing and
evaluating the effectiveness of technical and
organisational measures for ensuring the security of
processing.
2. In assessing the appropriate level of security, account
shall be taken in particular of the risks that are presented
by processing, in particular from accidental or unlawful
destruction, loss, alteration, unauthorised disclosure of, or
access to, personal data transmitted, stored or otherwise
processed.
2.9 Article 32 GDPR applies to both controllers and processors.
Penalties
2.10 Article 83(1) GDPR requires supervisory authorities to ensure that
any penalty imposed in each individual case is "effective,
proportionate and dissuasive".
2.11 The principle that penalties ought to be effective, proportionate and
dissuasive is a longstanding principle of EU law. The Commissioner
is under an EU law obligation to ensure that infringements of the
GDPR are penalised in a manner that is effective, proportionate and
dissuasive.
5 
2.12 Further, Recital 148 emphasises, inter alia, that "in order to
strengthen the enforcement of the rules of this Regulation, penalties
including administrative fines should be imposed for any
infringement of this Regulation, in addition to, or instead of
appropriate measures imposed by the supervisory authority
pursuant to this Regulation." It also records that due regard should
be given to the:
... nature, gravity and duration of the infringement, the
intentional character of the infringement, actions taken to
mitigate the damage suffered, degree of responsibility or any
relevant previous infringements, the manner in which the
infringement became known to the supervisory authority,
compliance with measures ordered against the controller or
processor, adherence to a code of conduct and any other
aggravating or mitigating factor ...
2.13 Recital 150 provides as follows:
In order to strengthen and harmonise administrative
penalties for infringements of this Regulation, each
supervisory authority should have the power to impose
administrative fines. This Regulation should indicate
infringements and the upper limit and criteria for setting the
related administrative fines, which should be determined by
the competent supervisory authority in each individual case,
taking into account all relevant circumstances of the specific
situation, with due regard in particular to the nature, gravity
and duration of the infringement and of its consequences and
the measures taken to ensure compliance with the obligations
under this Regulation and to prevent or mitigate the
consequences of the infringement. Where administrative
fines are imposed on an undertaking, an undertaking should
be understood to be an undertaking in accordance with
Articles 101 and 102 TFEU for those purposes. Where
administrative fines are imposed on persons that are not an
undertaking, the supervisory authority should take account of
the general level of income in the Member State as well as
the economic situation of the person in considering the
appropriate amount of the fine. The consistency mechanism
may also be used to promote a consistent application of
administrative fines. It should be for the Member States to
determine whether and to which extent public authorities
6 
should be subject to administrative fines. Imposing an
administrative fine or giving a warning does not affect the
application of other powers of the supervisory authorities or
of other penalties under this Regulation.
2.14 In line with the above, when deciding whether to impose a fine and
the appropriate amount of any such fine, Article 83(2) GDPR
requires the Commissioner to have regard to the following matters:
(a) the nature, gravity and duration of the infringement
taking into account the nature scope or purpose of the
processing concerned as well as the number of data
subjects affected and the level of damage suffered by
them;
(b) the intentional or negligent character of the infringement;
(c) any action taken by the controller or processor to mitigate
the damage suffered by data subjects;
(d) the degree of responsibility of the controller or processor,
taking into account technical and organisational measures
implemented by them pursuant to Articles 25 and 32;
(e) any relevant previous infringements by the controller or
processor;
(f) the degree of co-operation with the supervisory authority,
in order to remedy the infringement and mitigate the
possible adverse effects of the infringement;
(g) the categories of personal data affected by the
infringement;
(h) the manner in which the infringement became known to
the supervisory authority, including whether, and if so to
what extent, the controller or processor notified the
supervisory authority of the infringement;
(i) where measures referred to in Article 58(2) have
previously been ordered against the controller or
7 
(j) adherence
processor concerned with
codes
regard to
conduct
the same subjectmatter, compliance with those measures;
to approved of pursuant to
Article 40 or approved certification mechanisms pursuant
to Article 42; and
(k) any other aggravating or mitigating factor applicable to
the case, including financial benefits gained, or losses
avoided, directly or indirectly from the infringement. 7
2.15 Article 83e(5) GDPR provides that infringements of the basic
principles for processing imposed pursuant to Article 5 GDPR will, in
accordance with Article 83(2) GDPR, be subject to administrative
fines of up to €20 million or, in the case of an undertaking, up to
4% of its total worldwide annual turnover of the preceding financial
year, whichever is higher.
2.16 Article 83e(4) GDPR provides, inter alia, that infringements of the
obligations imposed by Article 32 GDPR on the controller and
processer will, in accordance with Article 83 (2) GDPR, be subject to
administrative fines of up to €10 million or, in the case of an
undertaking, up to 2% of its total worldwide annual turnover of the
preceding financial year, whichever is higher.
2.17 Article 83(3) GDPR addresses the circumstances in which the same
or linked processing operations give rise to infringements of several
provisions of the GDPR. It provides that " ... the total amount of the
gravest infringement".
administrative fine shall not exceed the amount specified for the
2.18 Article 83e(8) GDPR provides that the exercise by any supervisory
authority of its powers to fine undertakings will be subject to
procedural safeguards, including an effective judicial remedy and
due process.
7 See also the Article 29 Data Protection Working Party Guidelines on the application and setting of
administrative fines for the purposes of Regulation 2016/679, adopted on 3 October 2017, endorsed
by the European Data Protection Board at its first plenary session. These provide a high-level
overview of the assessment criteria set out in Article 83(2) GDPR in Section III ("the Article 29 WP
Guidelines".
8 
The Commissioner
2.19 Section 115 DPA establishes that the Commissioner is the UK's
supervisory authority for the purposes of the GDPR. Section 115 DPA
provides, inter alia, that the Commissioner's powers under Articles
58(2)(i) (the power to impose administrative fines) and 83 GDPR are
exercisable only by giving a penalty notice under section 155 DPA.
Penalties
2.20 Section 155(1) DPA provides that, if the Commissioner is satisfied
that a person has failed or is failing as described in section 149(2)
DPA, the Commissioner may, by written notice (a "penalty notice"),
require the person to pay to the Commissioner an amount in sterling
specified in the notice. This Penalty Notice has been issued pursuant
to section 155(1) DPA.
2.21 Section 149(2) DPA provides:
(1) The first type of failure is where a controller or processor
has failed, or is failing, to comply with any of the following -
(a) a provision of Chapter II of the GDPR or Chapter 2 of
Part 3 or Chapter 2 of Part 4 of this Act (principles of
processing);
(b)
(c) a provision of Articles 25 to 39 of the GDPR or section
64 or 65 of this Act ( obligations of controllers and
processors). ..
2.22 Section 155 DPA sets out the matters to which the Commissioner
must have regard when deciding whether to issue a penalty notice
and when determining the amount of the penalty.
2.23 Section 155(2) DPA provides that, subject to subsection (4), when
deciding whether to give a penalty notice to a person and
determining the amount of the penalty, the Commissioner must
have regard to the matters listed in Article 83(1) and (2) GDPR.
2.24 Schedule 16 includes provisions relevant to the imposition of
penalties. Paragraph 2 makes provision for the issuing of notices of
intent to impose a penalty, as follows:
(1) Before giving a person a penalty notice, the Commissioner
must, by written notice (a "notice of intent") inform the
9 
person that the Commissioner intends to give a penalty
notice.
(2) The Commissioner may not give a penalty notice to a
person in reliance on a notice of intent after the end of the
period of 6 months beginning when the notice of intent is
given, subject to sub-paragraph (3).
(3) The period for giving a penalty notice to a person may be
extended by agreement between the Commissioner and the
person.
2.25 Paragraph 5 sets out the required contents of a penalty notice, in
accordance with which this Penalty Notice has been prepared.
Guidance
2.26 Section 160 DPA requires the Commissioner to produce and publish
guidance about how she intends to exercise her functions. With
respect to penalty notices, such guidance is required to include:
(a) provision about the circumstances in which the
Commissioner would consider it appropriate to issue a penalty
notice;
(b) provision about the circumstances in which the
Commissioner would consider it appropriate to allow a person
to make oral representations about the Commissioner's
intention to give the person a penalty notice;
(c) provision explaining how the Commissioner will
determine the amount of penalties;
(d) provision about how the Commissioner will determine
how to proceed if a person does not comply with a penalty
notice.
2.27 Pursuant to section 161 DPA, the Commissioner's first guidance
documents issued under section 160(1) DPA had to be consulted
upon and laid before Parliament by the Secretary of State in
accordance with the procedure set out in that section. Thereafter, in
issuing any altered or replacement guidance, the Commissioner
required to consult the Secretary of State and such other persons
as she considers appropriate. The Commissioner must also arrange
for such guidance to be laid before Parliament.
10 
The Commissioner's Regulatory Action Policy
2.28 On 4 May 2018, the Commissioner opened a consultation process
on how the Commissioner planned to discharge her regulatory
powers under the DPA. The consultation attracted responses from
across civil society, commentators, and industry (including the
finance and insurance, online technology and telecoms, and charity
sectors). The consultation ended on 28 June 2018. Having taken all
the views received during the consultation process into account, the
Regulatory Action Policy (the "RAP") was submitted to the Secretary
of State and laid before Parliament for approval.
2.29 Pursuant to section 160(1) DPA, the Commissioner published her
RAP on 7 November 2018. Under the hearing "Aims", the RAP
explains that it seeks to:
•
one
"Set out the nature of the Commissioner's various powers in
we use them";
"Ensure that we take fair, proportionate and timely regulatory
action with a view to guaranteeing that individuals' information
place and to be clear and consistent about when and how
•
rights are properly protected";
• "Guide the Commissioner and our staff in ensuring that any
regulatory action is targeted, proportionate and effective ... '
18
2.30 The objectives of regulatory action are set out at page 6 of the RAP,
including:
•
adversely affecting large groups of individuals".
• "To be effective, proportionate, dissuasive and consistent in our
application of sanctions", targeting action taken pursuant to the
Commissioner1
s most significant powers on, inter alia,
personal
"organisations and individuals suspected of repeated or wilful
misconduct or serious failures to take proper steps to protect
data".
2.31 The RAP explains that the Commissioner will adopt a selective
approach to regulatory action.e9 When deciding whether and how to
8 RAP, page 5.
9 RAP pages 6-7 and 10. ,
"To respond swiftly and effectively to breaches of legislation
which fall within the ICO's remit, focussing on [inter alia] those
11 
respond to breaches of information rights obligations she will
consider criteria which include the following:
• "the nature and seriousness of the breach or potential breach";
•
(including whether any special categories of personal
issue, the degree of intrusion into their privacy";
that technological security
data are
involved) and the level of any privacy intrusion";
"where relevant, the categories of personal data affected
• "the number of individuals affected, the extent of any exposure
to physical, financial or psychological harm, and, where it is an
• "whether the issue raises new or repeated issues, or concerns
measures are not protecting the
personal data";
• "the cost of measures to mitigate any risk, issue or harm";
• "the public interest
provide
in regulatory action being taken (for
example, to an effective deterrent against future
breaches or clarify or test an issue in dispute)".10
2.32 The RAP explains that, as a general principle, "more
breaches
serious, highimpact, intentional, wilful, neglectful or repeated can
expect stronger regulatory action".11
2.33 Pages 24-25 of the RAP identify the circumstances in which the
issuing of a Penalty Notice will be appropriate. They explain, inter
case will be assessed objectively on its own merits. However, it
explains that, in accordance with the Commissioner's risk-based
approach, a penalty is more likely to be imposed in, inter alia, the
following situations:
•
• or harm (which may
alia, that in " ... considering the degree of harm or damage we may
consider that, where there is a lower level of impact across a large
number of individuals, the totality of that damage or harm may be
substantial, and may require a sanction. "The RAP stresses that each
"a number of individuals have been affected";
"there has been a degree of damage
include distress and/or embarrassment)"; and
10 RAP, pages 10-11.
11 RAP, page 12.
12 
• "there has been a failure to apply reasonable measures
(including relating to privacy by design) to mitigate any breach
(or the possibility of it)".
2.34 The process the Commissioner will follow in deciding the appropriate
amount of penalty to be imposed is described from page 27
onwards. In particular, the RAP sets out the following five-step
process:
a. Step 1. An 'initial element' removing any financial gain from
the breach.
b. Step 2. Adding in an element to censure the breach based on
its scale and severity, taking into account the considerations
identified at section 155(2)-( 4) DPA.
c. Step 3. Adding in an element to reflect any aggravating factors.
A list of aggravating factors which the Commissioner would take
into account, where relevant, is provided at page 11 of the RAP.
This list is intended to be indicative, not exhaustive.
d. Step 4. Adding in an amount for deterrent effect to others.
e. Step 5. Reducing the amount (save that in the initial element)
to reflect any mitigating factors, including ability to pay
(financial hardship). A list of mitigating factors which the
Commissioner would take into account, where relevant, is
provided at page 11-12 of the RAP. This list is intended to be
indicative, not exhaustive.
3 CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE FAILURE: FACTS
Background
3.1 This Penalty Notice does not purport to identify exhaustively each and
every circumstance and document relevant to the Commissioner's
proposal to give a penalty notice and considered by the
Commissioner. The circumstances and documents identified below
are a proportionate summary.
3.2 The Second Annex to this Penalty Notice provides a more detailed
chronology.
13 
Significant events prior to 23 June 2018
3.3 By Ticketmaster's written comments on the draft Penalty Notice ("the
Comments"), it is stated that as early as 20 February 2018, Inbenta
"was aware of a potential compromise of its code" (§18 of the
Comments).
3.4 On 6 April 2018, around 50 customers of Monzo Bank ("Monzo")
reported fraudulent transactions on their accounts, following which
their payment cards were replaced.
3.5 On 12 April 2018, representatives of Ticketmaster met with Monzo at
Monzo's offices to share information gathered by Monzo concerning
the fraudulent transactions in issue.
3.6 On or around 16 April 2018, Monzo provided Ticketmaster with
unique information regarding a particular payment card. When the
legitimate customer tried to make the purchase on the Ticketmaster
website, the customer accidentally inputted the expiry date of the
relevant payment card incorrectly so the transaction failed. That
same payment card and incorrect expiry date was then used in an
attempted fraudulent transaction the following Monday. Monzo
described this as "smoking gun" proof that Ticketmaster's website
was the source of the Personal Data Breach.
3.7 On 17 April 2018, Barclaycard contacted Live Nation Entertainment
(the ultimate parent company of Ticketmaster's corporate group)
stating " ... we are aware of a breach occurrence within your Australian
entity/unit ["the Australia Event'], is this something we should be
aware of for the UK entity or is there any further information we need
to know at this point?".
3.8 Between 19 and 20 April 2018, Monzo made the decision to replace
6,000 payment cards used by customers on Ticketmaster's website.
3.9 By a published statement on Monzo's website, Monzo stated that on
19 April 2018 Ticketmaster informed Monzo that an internal
investigation found no evidence of a personal data breach and that
no other banks were reporting similar patterns of fraudulent
transactions.
14 
3.10 On 19 April 2018, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia informed
Ticketmaster of suspected fraud on 198 accounts that shared
Ticketmaster as a common purchase point.
3.11 During this same period Barclaycard, MasterCard and American
Express reported to Ticketmaster suggestions of fraud.
3.12 On 27 April 2018, Monzo reported to Ticketmaster a sharp decline in
fraudulent transactions since the replacement of payment cards of
customers previously used on Ticketmaster's website.
3.13 On 1 May 2018, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia provided
Ticketmaster with data concerning 1,756 MasterCard users who had
been victims of fraud and who had all transacted on Ticketmaster's
Australian website.
3.14 On or around 5 May 2018, Ticketmaster engaged four third party
forensics firms (together "the Incident Response Team") to
investigate the Australia Event and any data breach and subsequent
fraud. The Incident Response Team analysed data provided by the
Commonwealth Bank of Australia and determined that any breach of
Ticketmaster's systems most likely originated out of Ticketmaster's
Australian website, which was largely housed in North American
networks and data centres.
3.15 On 6 May 2018, an individual user on Twitter tweeted a picture of an
error message on the Ticketmaster New Zealand website. The tweet
stated: " ... Inbenta's website serves two different files ... hosted on two
different servers one of them has the infected line in it and the other
one doesn't." This tweet should have been reasonably understood to
refer to malicious code.
3.16 On 9 May 2018, the same Twitter user followed up that tweet.
Ticketmaster responded directly to the tweet saying "this is not a
virus, it's the help widget that is found on our home page".
3.17 On the same day, the Twitter user responded to Ticketmaster,
stating: "it has an extra line in it submitting information to a website
hosted by an External person in the UAE and none of the other
inbenta.js files used by other sites have this - this single one has
been compromised.e"
15 
3.18 On or around 10 May 2018, Visa contacted Ticketmaster identifying
a number of indicators of compromise and that fraud could be caused
by malicious third party content.
3.18.1 Thereafter, Ticketmaster provided Visa's information to
the Incident response Team.
3.18.2 However, Ticketmaster's instructions as to the scope of
analysis to third party content by the Incident Response Team
did not extend at that stage to payment systems within the
United Kingdom and EU markets.
3.18.3 Further, Ticketmaster have not evidenced that a link was
identified between the information received from Monzo (see
above) and that from Visa regarding the Personal Data Breach
arising from third party malicious scripts.
3.19. On 11 May 2018, the Incident Response Team analysed Visa's
indicators of compromise and failed to identify the malicious code in
issue.
3.20. On 31 May 2018, an individual using the Ticketmaster Ireland
Website disclosed that their antivirus product had identified
Ticketmaster's website as malicious, in particular the reference to the
Inbenta tag.
3.21. On 1 June 2018, Ticketmaster internally reported that "the
worst-case scenario is that they [Inbenta] are indeed hacked/infected
and serving up rogue malicious content to our userbase."
3.22. On 6 June 2018, a Twitter user provided information to Ticketmaster
that he was "getting lots of Symantec alerts" about the chat bot in
Australia.
3.23. On 6 June 2018, following a telephone call the previous day, Inbenta
emailed Ticketmaster to indicate that the identification of
Ticketmaster's website as malicious by an antivirus product was
erroneous.
16 
3.24. On or around 6 June 2018, Ticketmaster nevertheless instructed the
Incident Response Team to expand its investigations to include all
Ticketmaster domains.
3.25. On or around 8 June 2018, the Incident Response Team reported that
it had scanned 117 terabytes of data to search for malware and found
no indication of malware.
3.26. On 22 June 2018 at 8.53pm, Ticketmaster received a notification
from Barclaycard regarding around 37,000 instances of known fraud.
As set out below, this is the date from which Ticketmaster has stated
that it had knowledge of the Personal Data Breach in its personal data
breach reports submitted to the Commissioner.
Discovery and reporting of the breach
3.27. By an email dated 23 June 2018 at 23.14pm, Ticketmaster attached
a formal personal data breach notification.
3.27.1 The attached personal data breach report recorded that the
breach was discovered on 22 June 2018 at 8.53pm.
3.27.2 The personal data breach report provided:
" We were Notified by a third party card issuer that it has
identified approximately 37,000 credit and debit cards that
appear to have been compromised where Ticketmaster UK
CPP [meaning "common point of purchase'] was involved.
We are not aware of an actual breach or misuse of any credit
or debit cards. We are in the process of investigating the
matter and we are working with forensic investigators to
identify any potential compromise of credit or debit card
numbers."
3.27.3 As to the issue of delay in reporting the Personal Data
Breach, the personal data breach report provided: " While we
have been notified of a possible compromise, because there
has been no confirmation of a breach, there has been no
delay in reporting."
3.27.4 Under the heading "Taking action", the personal data breach
report provided: "We have engaged a and applications
17 
leading forensics firm to conduct a full review of our systems
to identify and remediate any potential vulnerabilities
related to the potential exposure of the credit and debit
cards identified by the third party card issuer."
3.28 As around 1pm on 23 June 2018, malicious code on Ticketmaster's
website was identified. That malicious code was fully disabled for all
territories save for Ticketmaster France and getmein.com.
3.29. As to the malicious code:
3.29.1 Ticketmaster had contracted with Inbenta Technologies Inc
("Inbenta") to provide it with a chat bot for the Ticketmaster
websites pursuant to contractual terms requiring software
provided by Inbenta to be, amongst other things, free from
malware. The chat bot on Ticketmaster's website was
designed to interpret user's questions, to which it
automatically identified relevant help articles or information.
The automatic process was operated by a computer code
that analysed questions.
3.29.2 The JavaScript for the chat bot was hosted on the Inbenta
server. However, Ticketmaster decided to include the chat
bot on various pages of its website, including the payment
page. Ticketmaster said that the chat bot was a critical part
of the customer's journey.
3.29.3 It was because of Ticketmaster's business decision to
include the chat bot on its payment page that the chat bot
was able to unlawfully process the personal data of
customers. An attacker directed its attack at the Inbenta
servers and inserted malicious code into the JavaScript for
the chat bot. The malicious code 'scraped' (i.e. collected for
the purpose of sending the data back to the attacker) userinputted personal data. Because Ticketmaster included the
chat bot on its payment page, the personal data scraped by
the malicious code included financial data such as names,
payment card numbers, expiry dated and CVV numbers.
3.30 On 4 June 2018, the chat bot was disabled for Ticketmaster
France and getmain.com.
18 
3.31 On 25 and 26 June 2018, Ticketmaster provided the
Commissioner with verbal updates as to the steps then being
taken by Ticketmaster to investigate the Personal Data Breach.
3.32 On 27 June 2018, Ticketmaster publicly disclosed the Personal
Data Breach. On the same date, it sent the Commissioner a
written update on how the incident was progressing.
3.33 In a statement responding to the Personal Data Breach on or
around 27 June 2018, the CEO of Inbenta, told Register UK: " ...
The Javascript we created specifically for Ticketmaster was used
on a payments page, which is not what it was built for. Had we
known that script would have been used in that way, we would
have advised against it, as it poses a security threat." For the
reasons stated in the paragraph below, the Commissioner does
not need to form a concluded view as to the veracity of Inbenta's
statement.
3.34 It is recognised that Ticketmaster engaged with Inbenta, as
outlined at §§34-43 of the First Representations. It is further
recognised that Ticketmaster alleges that, in the context of
Inbenta having been in breach of its contractual obligations to
Ticketmaster to keep its software free from malware, certain
responses of Inbenta were false or materially inaccurate and had
been for an extended period. However, such responses of Inbenta
were of minimal causal relevance including because the attack
vector of the Personal Data Breach was not novel in type, and it
had been notified to Ticketmaster otherwise than by Inbenta
(including on Twitter, as to which see Ticketmaster's response to
the tweet and clarification sought by Ticketmaster above).
Insofar as the Comments (e.g. at §2.1 and §18) assert that
Inbenta's failure to act on its alleged awareness of the
unauthorised code within the chat bot "directly caused the
Incident", that submission is rejected for the same reason.
3.35 By 28 June 2018, all potentially impacted data subjects were emailed
to inform them of the Personal Data Breach.
3.36 On 29 June 2018, Ticketmaster sent the Commissioner an updated
personal data breach notification.
19 
3.36.1 The updated personal data breach report stated: " We were
notified by a third party card issuer that it has identified
approximately 37,000 credit and debit cards that appear to
have been compromised where Ticketmaster UK CPP was
involved. Following on-going forensic investigations, we have
discovered that a malicious script was introduced by a
customer support product ("Chat Bot"), that was running on
the Ticketmaster UK website.
The malicious script was Found on UK:
https://ticketmasteruk.inbenta. com/avatar/jsonp/inbenta.e;s
and appears to add an event listener to intercept all form
posts. The Chat Bot product was hosted by a third party
supplier, Inbenta Technologies, Inc. ("Inbenta"). The
malicious code that was enabled in the product allowed an
unauthorised third party to export customers' data. As soon
as this breach was identified, the Chat Bot was removed from
all [Ticketmaster International] sites." 2
3.36.2 The dates of the breach were stated to have been
10 February 2018 to 23 June 2018.
3.36.3 Ticketmaster stated that it had "notified approximately 9.4
million international customers to let them know that they
could possibly have been [affected]. All have been sent
email notifications."
3.36.4 Further information was provided concerning the action
taken by Ticketmaster, which included:
"- An email notification was sent to all customers 27-28 June
2018 who purchased or attempted to purchase tickets
between February 10, 2018 and June 23, 2018. We
have notified 9.4 million international customers.
3.37 By a letter dated 29 June 2018, the Commissioner informed
Ticketmaster that the case required further investigation. Further
information was sought therein.
3.38 By a letter dated 13 July 2018, Ticketmaster responded to the
Commissioner's letter dated 29 June 2018.
20 
II
3.38.1 Ticketmaster explained the operation of the chat bot as
follows:
3. Inbenta Technologies provided Ticketmaster with a
number of services, including a chatbox service (the
"Inbenta Chatbot"). The Inbenta Chatbot provided a
customer service interface with Ticketmaster's customers
on certain Ticketmaster platforms. The Inbenta Chatbot
was active on some international Ticketmaster pages by
default, so the user did not need to engage with the
Inbenta Chatbot for it to be operational.
In summary, the Inbenta Malicious Code was present in the
Inbenta Chatbot in certain, but not all instances, where the
Inbenta Chatbot was operational. Based on the information
available to Ticketmaster it appears that the Inbenta Malicious
Code was capable of capturing any data input by user into
Ticketmaster websites where the Inbenta Malicious Code was
operational. Accordingly we assess that the Inbenta Malicious
Code was capable of capturing customers' personal data,
including name, address, email address, full credit card
number, CVV, and Ticketmaster username and password, and
sending them to the attacker .e... "
3.38.2 Ticketmaster stated that, as of 13 July 2018, approximately
500 complaints had been received by it.
3.38.3 Further, Ticketmaster stated: "As part of Ticketmaster's
GDPR readiness programme, Ticketmaster invested £2.5
million on an internal privacy portal to deal with data subject
rights issues, including complaints.e"
3.39 By a letter dated 1 October 2018, Ticketmaster provided an "overview
of developments in Ticketmaster's investigation into the data security
incident that we reported to you on 23 June 2018." A 28 page
schedule accompanied Ticketmaster's letter dated 1 October 2018.
3.39.1 At paragraph 25 of that Schedule, Ticketmaster stated: " ... at
no point did the Inbenta chatbot software itself load from or
21 
reside within Ticketmaster's systems. Instead, it was at all
times served directly to Ticketmaster's customers by Inbenta
from Inbenta's servers .e... "
3.39.2 At paragraph 26 of that Schedule, Ticketmaster stated: "
Ticketmaster considers the fact that it did not itself process
any data as a result of the deployment of the chatbot and was
otherwise constrained in its ability to manage the security
controls placed around the software, must inevitably
influence the question of the extent to which it can properly
be held responsible for the data event."
3.39.3 At paragraph 66 of that Schedule, Ticketmaster stated: "In
conclusion, Ticketmaster readily acknowledges that very
unfortunately this attack exposed the personal and payment
card data of a number of its customers (though not as many
as Ticketmaster had originally understood could have been
impacted). However, for all the reasons set out above,
Ticketmaster believes that it would be unfair and
unreasonable to lay the blame for this event at its feet. Put
simply, this attack did not come about as a result of
Ticketmaster applying a sub-standard, inappropriate
approach to data security. To the contrary, this incident
affected Ticketmaster's website notwithstanding its
deployment of extensive appropriate measures designed to
safeguard Ticketmaster customers from attack." [Emphasis
original]
3.40 By a letter dated 23 November 2018, Ticketmaster provided further
information in response to the Commissioner's letter dated 9
November 2018. Ticketmaster stated:
22 
3.41 By a letter dated 29 November 2018, the Commissioner requested
further information from Ticketmaster. By a letter dated 7 December
2018, Ticketmaster provided further information in response to the
Commissioner's letter dated 29 November 2018. The information so
provided included information concerning the chat bot provided by
Inbenta. Ticketmaster stated:
"The chatbot provided by Inbenta Technologies ("Inbenta") and
deployed on certain Ticketmaster webpages was a customer support
tool that enabled customers to quickly and easily obtain "self-service"
customer support. The chatbot was deployed on payment and
checkout pages, consistent with industry practice, not to collect
cardholder data, but to instead allow customer's access to quick
customer service support at critical junctures within the payment
purchase process. It was not intended to and did not in fact store,
process or transmit cardholder data subject to the Payment Card
Information Data Security Standard ("PCI-DSS"). Against this
background, Ticketmaster did not query with Inbenta whether PCIDSS would be applied in respect of the chatbot, instead, Ticketmaster
sought to assure itself that the chatbot would not itself process or
transmit payment card data .e.... Relying on Inbenta's attestations as
to the operation of the chatbot, and also the parties' mutual
understanding of the chatbot's purpose and functionality,
Ticketmaster reasonably did not require the Inbenta chatbot to
maintain compliance with PCI-DSS. The tactics of the criminal actors
who infected the Inbenta chatbot with malicious code so as to
facilitate their own independent collection of cardholder data directly
from customers were unusual and innovative, and could not have
been reasonably anticipated.e"
3.42 By a letter dated 18 December 2018, the Commissioner requested
further information from Ticketmaster. By a letter dated 21 January
2019, Ticketmaster provided further information in response to the
Commissioner's letter dated 18 December 2018. Ticketmaster
stated: " When companies like Ticketmaster contract with third parties
to provide third-party software, the contracting company rarely has
23 
visibility into the changes made to third-party scripts served from the
TPV's [i.e. third party vendor] own servers."
The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard
3.43 The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard ("PCIDSS") was the security standard to which all merchants
processing payment cards were required to adhere. PCI-DSS
Version 3.2 was released in April 2016 and applied until 31
December 2018. PCI-DSS Version 3.2.1 was released May 2018
and is the current version of the standard.
3.44 The PCI DSS provided that "the PCI DSS security requirements
apply to all system components included in or connected to the
cardholder data environment." Systems components included:
(i) systems that provided security services (for example,
authentication servers), facilitate segmentation (for example,
internal firewalls), or might have impacted upon the security of
the card data environment ("CDE"); (ii) applications including
all purchased and custom applications, including internal and
external applications; and (iii) any other component or device
located within or connected to the CDE.
3.45 The chat bot in issue, when configured on a payment page, fell
within the scope of the term "system components".
3.46 Ticketmaster has provided evidence, for example at §32.3 of its
First Representations, that it intended that the chat bot was to
be used on its payment page: the chat bot was to "improve the
online sales journey, through and including the checkout
process-and the payment pages within it".
3.47 In the course of the Information Commissioner's investigation,
Ticketmaster provided its Secure Coding Guidelines, which
provided at page 3: "all internet-facing applications and
applications with a PCI compliance requirement must also go
through an application security assessment by the internal LNE
Application Security Team OR by an approved external third
party.e"
24 
3.48 In those circumstances, despite its repeated contention to the
contrary (including at §35 of the Comments) Ticketmaster was
bound by the following PCI-DSS requirements concerning the
payment card environment, which applied regardless of whether
the chat bot was or was not intended or expected to process
payment card information:
3.48.1 PCI DSS requirement 12.2 required Ticketmaster to
"implement a risk assessment process that: ... is performed
at least annually and upon significant changes to the
environment. ... identifies critical assets, threats and
vulnerabilities.e" However, no such risk assessment was
performed upon the chat bot being introduced as part of the
payment environment.
3.48.2 PCI-DSS requirement 12.8.2 required Ticketmaster to
"maintain a written agreement that includes an
acknowledgement that the service providers are responsible
for the security of cardholder data the service providers
possess or otherwise store, process or transmit on behalf of
the customer, or to the extent that they could impact the
security of the customer's cardholder data environment."
However, notwithstanding Ticketmaster's submissions at
Comments §13, the contract between Inbenta and
Ticketmaster did not have such specific provisions concerning
the security of payment card data.
3.48.3 PCI-DSS requirement 12.8.4 required Ticketmaster to
"maintain a program to monitor service providers' PCI DSS
compliance status at least annually". However, Ticketmaster
did not maintain such a programme.
3.48.4 PCI-DSS requirement 12.4 required Ticketmaster to "Ensure
that the security policy and procedures clearly define
information security responsibilities for all personnel ".
However, the contract between Inbenta and Ticketmaster
lacked such clear definition of the information security
responsibilities in relation to payment card data.
3.48.5 PCI DSS requirement 12.6 required Ticketmaster to
"implement a formal security awareness program to make all
25 
Card Information
Against this background,
Inbenta whether PCI-DSS would be applied in respect of the
chatbox. "12
personnel aware of the cardholder
provided:
security responsibilities,
errors or
data security policy and
It is further "If personnel are not
about their security
safeguards and processes that have been implemented may
become ineffective through intentional actions."
procedure."
educated
However, Ticketmaster have failed to demonstrate a security
awareness programme demonstrating which party was
responsible for the security of the payment card data in
relation to the chat bot.
3.49 In its letter of 7 December 2018, Ticketmaster confirmed that it
"is not aware of any accreditation held by Inbenta which attest
to its compliance with PCI DSS". The following further passages
are noted:
3.49.1 "Inbenta has consistently stated to Ticketmaster that their
product did not store, process or transmit cardholder data
and were thus not subjected to PCI-DSS"
3.49.2 "[The chatbox] was not intended to
Standard
and did not in fact store,
process or transmit cardholder data subject to the Payment
Data Security ( "PCI-DSS")".
Ticketmaster did not query with
3.50 The Ticketmaster/Inbenta contract did not include any
contractual provisions specifically in relation to the payment
environment. Notwithstanding, in its Representations and the
Comments, Ticketmaster asserts that it was entitled to rely on
Inbenta to provide a safe chat bot on account of Inbenta being
"a reputable specialist software company that passed
Ticketmastere's vetting procedures ... [which had] provided
assurances about the safety of its software and services. Those
assurances were reflected in contractual commitments imposed
on Inbenta" (§7 of the Comments).
12 It is recognised that Ticketmaster engaged with l nbenta, as outlined at §§34-43 of the First Representations.
It is further recognised that Ticketmaster alleges that certain responses of lnbenta were false or m aterially
inaccurate.
26 
3.51 In its letter of 21 January 2019, Ticketmaster was unable to
demonstrate that it had carried out a formal risk assessment of
the implementation of the chat bot on its payment page,
contrary to (amongst other things) Ticketmaster's own Secure
Coding Guidelines.
3.52 By reason of the aforesaid, it was or ought to have been
apparent to Ticketmaster that the security of the chat bot was
not to a PCI-DSS compliant standard, including by reason of
Ticketmaster's own failure to discharge its obligations under the
PCI-DSS. Although compliance with the PCI-DSS is not
necessarily equivalent to compliance with the GDPR's security
principle, 13 as Ticketmaster processed card data and suffered a
personal data breach, the ICO considered the extent to which
Ticketmaster might have put in place measures that PCI-DSS
required, particularly given the breach related to a lack of a
particular control or process mandated by the standard.
4 PERSONAL DATA I NVOLVED IN THE FAILURE
4.1 As explained in Ticketmaster's letter of 13 July 2018, referred to
above, customer's personal data that was the subject of the breach
included "name, address, email address, full credit card number,
C VV, and Ticketmaster username and password".
4.2 Whilst the total duration of the Personal Data Breach was between
February 2018 and 23 June 2018, the dates under consideration for
the purposes of this Penalty Notice were from 25 May 2018 to 23
June 2018.
4.2. 1 9.4 million E EA data subjects were notified as having been
potentially affected by the Personal Data Breach, of whom 1. 5
million data subjects originated in the United Kingdom.
4.2.2 Barclays Bank have advised that around 60,000 individual card
details had been compromised.
13 At §33 of the Comments, Ticketmaster mischaracterises the Commissioner's concl usion when descri bing the
Com missioner as having held "that the GDPR required Ticketmaster to have applied PC/ 055 to the Chatbot."
27 
4.2.3 Monzo Bank have advised that around 6,000 cards have had to
be replaced in relation to Ticketmaster transaction fraud.
4.2.4 Ticketmaster has received approximately 997 complaints
alleging financial loss and/or emotional distress.
4.3 Ticketmaster have been unable to provide the Commissioner with
a breakdown of the individuals affected during the period from 25
May 2018 to 23 June 2018.
5 PROCEDURE
5.1 This section summarises the procedural steps the Commissioner has
taken. The Second Annex to this Penalty Notice provides a more
detailed chronology. All Ticketmaster's representations have been
taken into account by the Commissioner when deciding to impose the
penalty herein.
5.2 Ticketmaster initially notified the Commissioner of the Attack on 23
June 2018 by an email of 23: 14 attaching a formal personal data
breach notification. In response, the Commissioner commenced an
investigation into the incident. That investigation included various
exchanges with Ticketmaster and considering detailed submissions
and evidence.
5.3 On 7 February 2020, the Commissioner issued Ticketmaster with a
Notice of Intent to impose a penalty, pursuant to section 155(1) DPA
and Schedule 16 of the DPA (the "NOI"). The proposed penalty at
that stage was £1,500,000.
5.4 Ticketmaster made written representations in response to the NOi on
6 April 2020 and 22 May 2020, which are referred to in this Notice as
"Ticketmaster's First Representations" and "Ticketmaster's
Second Representations" respectively.
5.5 Ticketmaster's First Representations included:
5.5.1 At §3.3, Ticketmaster submitted: "Viewed holistically, the
security measures adopted by Ticketmaster were reasonable,
28 
proportionate and appropriate, given the risk-landscape faced
by Ticketmaster at the time"
5.5.2 At §§3.1 and 3.2, Ticketmaster submitted that: (i) the chat bot
was served by a third party, lnbenta; (ii) Ticketmaster had
entered into a contract with lnbenta whereby lnbenta undertook
that the chat bot would remain free from all malware, and (iii)
lnbenta was at all material times well aware that the chat bot
was to be used by Ticketmaster on its payment page.
5.5.3 At §3.5, Ticketmaster submitted that "the risk that criminals
would gain access to the personal data of Ticketmaster
customers by attacking JavaScript software authored and served
by a trusted third-party software provider from the third party's
own servers was not something that could reasonably have been
foreseen by Ticketmaster". Ticketmaster contended that it was
the "victim of a novel form of criminal attack". The contention
that the attack vector was novel was repeated in the First
Representations, e.g. at §§5.3 and 13-15.
5.5.4 At §4, Ticketmaster further summarised its criticisms of the
Commissioner's conclusions on breach in the NOi as followse:
"4.e1 They rest on the application of an unduly high security
standard, well beyond that which is typically practised in the
online service industry and that which is required under Articles
5(1)(f) and 32 GDPR;
4.2 They depend on flawed assumptions as to the feasibility
and effectiveness of various technical measures; and
4.3 They are predicated on an analysis of the underlying facts
which cannot be squared with the evidence.e"
5.5.5 Further:
5.5.5.1 At §§18-23, Ticketmaster submitted that it had met its
GDPR obligations by establishing "adequate, proportionate
measures to ensure that Inbenta's offerings were, and would
remain, secure.e"
5.5.5.2 At §24, Ticketmaster submitted that the Commissioner's
conclusions in the NOi required that "Ticketmaster had to
actively review each iteration of the Chatbot to comply with
29 
Articles 5(1) and 32 GDPR". Ticketmaster did not accurately
represent the content of the NOi when so asserting.
5.5.5.3 From §28, Ticketmaster identified allegedly "false and
misleading" statements of Inbenta in respect of the Incident.
5.5.5.4 From §54, Ticketmaster alleged errors by the Commissioner
on the application of Article 33 GDPR. As to Ticketmaster's
submissions in this regard, paragraph 6.29 of this Penalty
Notice is repeated.
5.5.6 At §7, Ticketmaster submitted alternative "inevitabl[e]"
conclusions, as a consequence of which it contended at §8 that
the findings on breach in the NOi ought to be withdrawn:
"7.1 Along with those of its customers who were affected by
the Inbenta Data Security Incident, Ticketmaster is the victim
of a criminal attack perpetrated on a third-party software
provider, which attack could not have been foreseen or
prevented by Ticketmaster, applying appropriate security
measures;
7.2 Responsibility for the attack lies first and foremost on the
shoulders of the Unknown Criminal Actors. Thereafter, it lies, if
anywhere, on Inbenta's shoulders. There is no just basis for
holding Ticketmaster liable; and
7.3 Ticketmaster's approach to detecting the attack and its
source cannot be impugned. It adopted a proportionate
approach to identifying possible anomalies, relying ( as it was
entitled to do) on representations it received from Inbenta, all
of which indicated the Chatbot remained secure. As soon as it
was provided with reasonable evidence that an attack on its
customers was underway, Ticketmaster commenced an
appropriate and well-resourced investigation. It cannot be
faulted merely because its conscientious and reasonable
investigations arguably could have been prioritised differently,
had an alternative initial focus or scope, or did not immediately
identify the attack and its source.e"
5.5.7 At §9 and §§74-80, Ticketmaster submitted that, without
prejudice to its denial of breach of its GDPR obligations, in the
NOi the Commissioner had adopted an erroneous approach to
the application of the factors identified in Article 83(2) GDPR.
30 
5.5.8 At §10, Ticketmaster submitted: "without prejudice to the
foregoing ... even if there was a lawful basis for imposing a
penalty, which there is not, the quantum of the proposed penalty
should be reduced."
5.6 Ticketmaster also raised various requests for further particulars and
documents in the First Representations. The Commissioner
responded to the requests for further particulars and documents in
the First Representations by email on 5 June 2020 ("the RFI
Response"). Ticketmaster responded in turn on 17 June 2020
("Ticketmaster's Third Representations").
5.7 The Commissioner's position on the substance of the matters in issue
was informed, in particular, by careful consideration of Ticketmaster's
First, Second and Third Representations (together "the
Representations"). Given the length and detail of the
Representations and the overall complexity of the case, that
consideration took time and considerable resources. That process
also resulted in changes and clarifications to the form and content of
the draft decision.
5.8 On 29 April 2020, the Commissioner invited Ticketmaster to make
further representations specifically in respect of the financial impact
on its business caused by the Covid-19 pandemic Ticketmaster
provided an initial written response to this request on 22 May 2020,
and additional submissions by way of a telephone call on 26 May 2020
(together "the Financial Impact Representations").
5.9 On 19 August 2020 the Commissioner provided Ticketmaster with a
draft Penalty Notice. The Commissioner invited Ticketmaster to make
further representations as to the draft Penalty Notice.
5.10 On 16 September 2020, Ticketmaster provided the Comments, which
were expressly without prejudice to the Representations.
5.11 By the Comments, Ticketmaster denied the Commissioner's findings
of violations of Article 5(1)(f) and 32 GDPR. Ticketmaster alleged
four "fundamental flaws", namely that: "Inbenta's failures caused the
Incident"; "the Incident was not reasonably foreseeable";
"Ticketmaster's security measures were appropriate" ; and "the ICO's
penalty analysis is flawed".
5.12 As to causation, Ticketmaster alleged that the Commissioner
"neglects to address Inbenta's failures and their causation of the
Incident adequately, or at all". Ticketmaster asserts that it was
31 
"entitled to rely on Inbenta, as a reputable specialist software
company, to provide the Chatbot, particularly in light of the
assurances Inbenta had provided, and the contractual guarantees
Ticketmaster had in place with Inbenta."
5.13 As to reasonable foreseeability, Ticketmaster alleges that
Commissioner has engaged in "hindsight bias".
5.14 As to Ticketmaster's security measures, Ticketmaster objects to "(i)
the ICO's conclusion that the GDPR required Ticketmaster to have
applied PCI DSS to the Inbenta Chatbot; (ii) the DPN's failure to take
into account or properly weigh Inbenta's contractual assurances to
Ticketmaster that the Chatbot would be free of malicious code and
Inbenta's breach of those obligations; (iii) the DPN's silence on
industry practice regarding the deployment of JavaScript on payment
pages; and (iv) the ICO's position on the
reasonableness/appropriateness of the mitigation measures
suggested in the DPN.e"
5.15 As to the Commissioner's penalty analysis, Ticketmaster identifies
various alleged flaws, including: "(i) Live Nation Entertainment's
"financial picture" is irrelevant to the ICO's penalty analysis; (ii) the
DPN's finding of "negligence" is overly broad and ripe to be
misinterpreted as a finding of common law negligence, which finding
the ICO has no jurisdiction to make; (iii) the DPN fails to reflect the
fact that there has been no evidence in the course of the ICO's
investigation that the data subjects affected by the Incident suffered
any harm and (iv) the DPN fails to apply a discount in respect of the
amount of the penalty originally suggested to reflect the fact that the
ICO has abandoned the allegation that Ticketmaster breached Article
33 GDPR.e"
6 CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE FAILURE: BREACHES
Ticketmaster's failures
6.1. The Commissioner's conclusion is that in respect of the Incident,
Ticketmaster had failed to comply with its obligations under Article
5(1)(f) and Article 32 GDPR. Ticketmaster failed to process personal
data in a manner that ensured appropriate security of the personal
data, including protection against unauthorised or unlawful
processing and against accidental loss, destruction or damage, using
32 
appropriate technical and organisational measures as required by
Article S(l) (f) and Article 32 GDPR.
6.2. This section describes the specific failures to comply with the GDPR
that the Commissioner has found and responds to Ticketmaster's
Representations concerning the Commissioner's NOL
The relevant standard
6.3. As set out above, Article 5 GDPR requires that personal data shall be
processed in a manner that ensures appropriate security of the
personal data, including protection against unauthorised or unlawful
processing and against accidental loss, destruction or damage, using
appropriate technical or organisational measures. The data controller,
in this case Ticketmaster, is responsible for, and must be able to
demonstrate compliance with, that requirement.
6.4. Article 32 GDPR concerns the security of processing personal data
and, taking into account the state of the art, the costs of
implementation and the nature, scope, context and purposes of
processing as well as the risk of varying likelihood and severity for
the rights and freedoms of natural persons, requires a controller to
implement appropriate technical and organisational measures to
ensure a level of security appropriate to the risk. Such measures
may include encryption of personal data and a process for regularly
testing, assessing and evaluating the effectiveness of such technical
and organisational measures.14
6.5. Not every instance of unauthorised processing or breach of security
will necessarily amount to a breach of Article 5 or Article 32. The
obligation under Article 5 GDPR is to ensure appropriate security;
the obligation under Article 32 is to implement appropriate technical
and organisational measures to ensure an appropriate level of
security, taking account of the state of the art, the costs of
implementation and the nature, scope, context and purposes of
processing, as well as the risk to the rights of data subjects.
6.6. When considering whether there has been a breach of the GDPR and
whether to impose a penalty, the Commissioner must therefore
avoid reasoning purely with the benefit of hindsight. The
Commissioner has been mindful of that at all times when considering
the Incident. The focus has been on the adequacy and
14 See also Recitals 76, 77 and 83 G DPR.
33 
appropriateness of the measures implemented by the data
controller, the risks that were known or could reasonably have been
identified or foreseen, and appropriate measures falling within
Article 5 and/or Article 32 GDPR that were not, but could and should
have been, in place. The Commissioner has identified those
measures that were proportionate in the circumstances, taking into
account that it was open to Ticketmaster at all times not to include
the chat bot on its payment page at all.
6.7. Having carefully examined the available evidence, including the
evidence and submissions set out in Ticketmaster's Representations,
the Commissioner is satisfied that there were multiple failures by
Ticketmaster to put in place appropriate technical or organisational
measures to protect the personal data being processed on
Ticketmaster's systems, as required by the GDPR.
6.8. The NOi identified a number of failures by Ticketmaster to put in
place appropriate security measures (certain of which were
identified by way of illustration), including Ticketmaster's failure to
put in place appropriate measures to negate the risk from the
danger of third party scripts infecting the chat bot on the payment
page of Ticketmaster's website. Following careful consideration of
the detailed representations received from Ticketmaster, the
principal failures Ticketmaster (which are now the subject of this
Penalty Notice) are outlined below.
Revised scope of the findings made
6.9. In the NOi, concerns were raised in relation to Article 33 GDPR. In
the NOi, the Commissioner identified that Ticketmaster had failed
to notify the Commissioner of the Personal Data Breach without
undue delay and in any event within 72 hours of becoming aware of
the breach, as required by Article 33 GDPR. For the purposes of this
Penalty Notice, the Commissioner does not rely on any breach of
Article 33 GDPR and any prior finding of a breach of Article 33 GDPR
no longer forms part of the decision against Ticketmaster.
6.10. Subject to the paragraph immediately above and the RFI Response,
the Commissioner repeats and relies upon the NOi.
Ticketmaster's principal failures
6.11. Ticketmaster has failed to comply with the requirements of Article
5(1)(f) GDPR, including to process personal data in a manner that
ensures appropriate security of the data, including protection
34 
against unauthorised or unlawful processing, using appropriate
technical or organisational measures." Whilst some measures were
in place prior to the Personal Data Breach, they were insufficient in
the circumstances.
6.12. Ticketmaster has failed to comply with the requirements of Article
32(1) and (2) GDPR. In particular:
6.12.1 Article 32(1)(b) GDPR required Ticketmaster to ensure the
ongoing confidentiality, integrity, availability and resilience of
processing systems and services. By reason of such
obligations, in particular concerning integrity, Ticketmaster
was required to ensure that only authorised changes were
made to Ticketmaster's website that processed personal data,
including the payment pages.
6.12.2 Article 32(1)(d) GDPR required that Ticketmaster had a
process for regular testing, assessing and evaluating the
effectiveness of technical and organisational controls for
ensuring the security of processing.
6.13 By Article 32 GDPR, "the controller and the processor shall implement
appropriate technical and organisational measures to ensure a level of
security appropriate to the risk'� taking into account "the state of the
art".
6.14 The state of the art includes knowledge, actual and constructive,
of attack vectors (i.e. pathways to a target or the methods used by an
attacker to compromise a target) current at the date of the Personal
Data Breach and whether the measures in response to those attacks
are adequate in line with the state of current technologies.
6.15 Implementing third party JavaScripts into a website or chat bot
has, for some time, been a known security risk. The risk to personal
data is greater when such third party JavaScripts are implemented into
web pages that process personal data such as a payment page.
Extensive publications had addressed that risk and identified associated
security measures in advance of the Personal Data Breach in this
instance. In particular, publications had identified that a benign script
could be changed by an attacker to 'scrape' personal data, of which
process the data controller or processor would likely have no visibility.
6.16 Publications evidencing that the risk of implementing third party
35 
JavaScripts into a web site or chat bot were identified in the R FI
Response. These publications, in conjunction with the PCI-D55
standard, demonstrate that the risk from third party scripts was wellestablished within the cyber and payment card security industry. The
actor vector leading to the data breach was not novel in type and, prior
to the breach, there were publications clearly indicating the risk of
including third party scripts on a payment page, 15 as illustrated by
publications including:
6.16.1 "Risks with third party scripts on Internet Banking Sites" of
September 2014, at https: //marc.durdin.net/2014/09/riskswith-third-party-scripts-on-internet-banking-sites/:
"So whate's the big deal with running third party script on a
websitee?
The core issue is that scripts from third party sites
of
can be
changed at any time, without the knowledge the ANZ
Internet Banking team. In fact, different scripts can be served
for different clients - a smart hacker would serve the original
script for IP addresses owned by ANZ Bank, and serve a
malicious script only to specific targeted clients. There would
be no reliable way for the ANZ Internet Banking security team
to detect this."
6.16.2 "NIST 800-161" of April 2015 at
https:e//nvlpubs.nist.gov/nistpubs/SpecialPublications/NIST.S
P.800-161. pdf, including at page 1, Chapter 1_;_
"JCT Supply Chain risks include insertion of counterfeits,
unauthorised production, tampering, theft, insertion of
malicious software and hardware, as well as poor
manufacturing and development practises in the JCT supply
chain. These risks are realised when threats in the JCT Supply
chain exploit existing vulnerability."
6.16.3 "Does including all these 3rd party Java script files impose a
security risk", of November 2015, at
15 C. f. § 14. 3(i) of the First Representations: "The specific attack vector pursued by the Unknown Criminal Actors
was novel and was not widely known or discussed in the industry."
36 
https: //stackoverflow.com/questions/33878372/doesi nclud ing-a I I-these-3 rd-pa rty-javascri pt-files-impose-asecu rity-risk:
"When you have all these various javascript files included on a
page for various services like website analytics, click tracking
etc., doesn't this create a huge security risk because using
javascript they can hijack the person's credit card that is
entered on the form?
How is this even considered to be safe currently?
Yes this is a security risk, known as a third party script include.
By including a script on your page hosted by a 3rd party, you
are trusting that the external domain is not malicious nor
compromised. By using a <script src='1//example. com"> tag,
the third party domain has full control of the DOM on your site.
They can inject whatever JavaScript they wish.
You are right to be concerned. PageFair was recently
compromised bringing down every site that it offered its
analytics service to with it. You should verify all third party
domains that you are referencing for script, and ensure you
trust them. For example you are probably OK with the big guys
such as Google and Facebook, however any others you should
consider either dropping them or reviewing the script code and
then hosting locally on your domain instead. ff
6.16.4 ENISA 2015 Threat Landscapes of January 2016 at
https: //www.enisa.eu ropa .eu/pu blications/etl2015:
"As a targeted attack, the threat agent performs different
actions in order to obtain knowledge about the internal
composition of the target organization: Personnel,
organizational information, possible weaknesses, etc. to
prepare an attack in a successful manner. Recognized attack
vectors include infected media, supply chain compromise, and
social engineering including combination of different attacks.
The purpose of these attacks is to place custom malicious code
on one or multiple computers for specific tasks and to remain
undetected for the longest possible period. ff
37 
6.16.5 "Things to know (and potential dangers) with third-party
scripts", of June 2016, at https://css-tricks.com/potentialdangers-of-third-party-javascript/:
"Any time you include someone else's external script on your
page, there's an inherent security risk because that script has
full access to the front end of your site."
6.16.6 ENISA 2016 Threat Landscape of January 2017 at
https: //www.enisa.europa.eu/publications/enisa-threatlandscape-report-2017:
"Targeted attacks are malicious attacks that are aimed to
a specific individual, company, system or software based
on some specific knowledge regarding the target. .....
Attack vector on targeted attacks uses to:
o Other sophisticated attacks can use infected media for
circumvolving external network defences or for
penetrating in to airgaps, and supply chains attacks"
6.16.7 "The Danger of Third Party Scripts", of February 2017, at
https: //biog .detectify.com/2017 /02/02/the-danger-of-thirdparty-scripts/:
"An external resource could change if the provider hosting
the script gets hacked, or if they decide to go malicious
and change it themselves. This introduces a single-pointof-failure situation, where an attacker could instead of
hacking only you take the time and hack the hosting
provider of the script and by doing so take control of all
sites that include it."
6.16.8 "Protecting Your Customer's Payment Card Data from
Ma/ware" of April 2017, at
https: //biog. pcisecu ritystandards.org/infog raphic-protectingyou r-payment-data-from-malware.
"Hackers often target low hanging fruit;
38 
• Weak or default passwords
• Outdated anti-virus software
• Unencrypted data
• Access via 3rd party vendors with weak security
controls"
(underlined by ICO for empathises)
Here's what you can do right now ...
• Confirm that all third party vendors are properly
implementing and maintain security controls outlined
in the PCI Data Security Standard (PCI DSS)"
6.16.9 "How companies are hacked via malicious Javascript" of April
2017 at https://www.normshield.com/how-companies-arehacked-via-malicious-javascript-code/:
"One of the most sneaky uses of JavaScript is cross-site
scripting (XSS). Simply put, XSS is a vulnerability that allows
hackers to embed malicious JavaScript code into a legitimate
website, which is ultimately executed in the browser of a user
who visits the website. If this happens on a website that
handles sensitive user information, such as financial data, the
malicious code could potentially snoop and steal that
information"
6.16.10 ENISA 2017 Threat Landscape of January 2018 at
https: //www.enisa.europa.eu/publications/enisa-threatlandscape-report-2018:
"Once again, in 2017 ma/ware is the most frequently
encountered cyberthreat. It continued its constant evolution in
terms of sophistication and diversity ....
The identified interesting points for ma/ware are as follows:
Supply chain attacks: one compromised vector can affect
many organisations. Similar with enterprises which are looking
to save time and money all the time, attackers are searching
new ways to make their attacks more and more efficient. As
the Cisco partner RSA discovered, supply chain attacks can
offer maximize the impact with a minimal effort invested by the
criminals. In the case that RSA handled, the attackers inserted
39 
ability to
trend is real and growing. So, the need to act is clear."
malicious codes into legitimate software typically used by
system administrators to analyse Windows system logs. The
compromised software was available for download at the
vendor's website. The result was maximized because one
compromised vector-the vendor site-could then spread the
threat to many more enterprise networks, simply by allowing
users to download the compromised software."
6.16.11 NCSC Supply Chain of January 2018 at
https:e//www.ncsc.gov.uk/collection/supply-chainsecurity/supply-chain-attack-examples.
"A series of high profile, very damaging attacks on companies
has demonstrated that attackers have both the intent and
exploit vulnerabilities in supply chain security. This
Examples of Supply Chain attacks within the guidance;
"Learn about an example of a supply chain attack through a
third party software provider, where a legitimate industrial
control system is 'trojanised " and "Cyber criminals also target
supply chains as a means of reaching the broadest possible
audience with their ma/ware"
6.16.12 ICO & NCSC GDPR Security Outcomes of May 2018[
1 1 at
https:e//www.ncsc.gov.uk/guidance/gdpr-security-outcomes.
" You have appropriate organisational structures, policies, and
processes in place to understand, assess and systematically
manage security risks to personal data
A.4 Data processors and the supply chain
You understand and manage security risks to your processing
operations that may arise as a result of dependencies on third
parties"
111 This document was publ ished during the period of the ongoing data breach in issue. In the course of its
representations, Ticketmaster has relied u pon the "VISA Fraudsters Targeting Call Centres11 publ ication of July
2018. That publ ication post-dated the Incident. It is nevertheless noted that its releva nt content is consistent
with the publications identified in this Penalty Notice, which date from before or during the Incident.
40 
6.17 Contrary to criticism of the NOI at § 14 of the First Representations,
those publications evidence that Ticketmaster ought reasonably to
have been aware prior to the time of the Incident of the risk of
implementing third party JavaScripts into a web site that processes
personal data such as payment card data. Ticketmaster's challenges
to the Commissioner's reliance on those publications in the Third
Representations on the basis of their provenance, their date or their
lack of specificity do not undermine the clear effect of those
publications for the purposes of this Penalty Notice, namely the risk
of implementing third party scripts was well established within the
cyber and payment card security industry, with many websites,
forums posts and news articles explaining the risks prior to the
Incident. In that context, Ticketmaster's contention at §§27 and 29.4
of the Comments that the publication of the "VISA Fraudsters
Targeting Call Centres" publication of July 2018 after the Incident
"was ... to rectify an existing lack of knowledge among e-commerce
merchants that third party JavaScript posed a serious risk to the
security of payment pages" such that the Incident could not be
regarded as having been reasonably foreseeable at the relevant time
is not accepted. Ticketmaster overstates the significance at §29.4 of
the Comments of both the "VISA Fraudsters Targeting Call Centres"
publication of July 2018 and the ICO's third party software guidance
of July 2019 as marking a "pivotal point" (which, given the dates of
publication of those documents, presumably is said to have lasted a
year in duration) in the foreseeability of an attack like the Incident.
Indeed, the relevant content of the "VISA Fraudsters Targeting Call
Centres" publication of July 2018 is consistent with the publications
identified at paragraph 6.16 above, which date from before or during
the Incident.
6.18 The publications referred to at paragraph 6.16 above also
demonstrate the range of technical measures that were available to
Ticketmaster to mitigate or remove the risk of a third party script
being implemented on a website or chat bot. At all times, it was open
to Ticketmaster not to support the chat bot on the payment page of
its website, which would have removed the risk of the attack vector
being deployed.
6.19 Further, as set out above, it was well known in advance of the
Personal Data Breach that, in efforts to attack organisations,
attackers frequently target less secure third party organisations
41 
supplying services to a primary organisation. Such attacks are
referred to as supply chain attacks.
6.20 A data subject's personal payment card information includes some of
the most valuable items of personal data to be targeted by an
attacker. Whilst there are certain protections for consumers in the
event of the exploitation of their payment card information in order
to mitigate their risk of financial harm, the attacker potentially stands
to obtain significant financial gains by obtaining payment card
information: the incentive for the attacker is not meaningfully
reduced by the protections for consumers. As such, the likelihood that
an attacker will seek to direct an attack to scrape personal data on a
payment page of a website is increased.
6.21 In view of the aforesaid, Ticketmaster ought to have been aware that
the severity and likelihood of an attack to obtain personal data
entered on the payment page of Ticketmaster's website were both
high. Ticketmaster failed to comply with its requirements of Article
5(1)(f) GDPR to process personal data in a manner that ensures
appropriate security, including because it had not put in place
appropriate measures to negate the risk from the danger of third
party scripts infecting the chat bot on the payment page of
Ticketmaster's website. Ticketmaster should have addressed the
following three objectives:
6.21.1 The security of the third party product, namely the Inbenta
chat bot.
6.21.2 The implementation of the Inbenta chat bot into
Ticketmaster's own infrastructure.
6.21.3 The on-going verification that security was being achieved to
an acceptable level.
6.22 As to securing the Inbenta chat bot:
6.22.1 Ticketmaster failed to discharge its obligations under the PCIDSS (as to which see further above).
6.22.2 Ticketmaster's Third Party Vendor ("TPV") Program had
required Inbenta to undergo periodic security vetting in 2013
42 
and in 2018. The intervals between the periodic security
vetting were very extended in the circumstances of evolving
threats. The 2018 vetting was only completed during the
period of the Personal Data Breach. As such, at the
commencement of the Personal Data Breach, the most recent
completed periodic security vetting pursuant to the TPV
Program had been completed in 2013.
6.22.3 At §§8-9 of its Comments, Ticketmaster relies upon its receipt
of security certifications provided by Inbenta. At §29.3 of the
Comments, Ticketmaster emphasises Inbenta's ISO 27001
certification. The Commissioner places little weight on the
mere provision of such certifications by Inbenta as a
mechanism of securing the chat bot in the circumstances.
Further, ISO 27001 is an information security management
standard, which does not apply directly to software
development.
6.22.4 Ticketmaster has failed to evidence a business requirement
document, or other formal document (such as that in
paragraph 3.48.2 above), by which Inbenta was clearly and
unambiguously obliged to design the chat bot for use on the
payment page of Ticketmaster's website. The absence of a
business requirement document is illustrative of
Ticketmaster's failure to secure the chat bot appropriately in
all the circumstances. Contrary to §15 of the Comments, the
Commissioner does not find that the absence of a business
requirement document is, of itself, such as to amount to a
breach of the GDPR in every case.
6.22.5 Despite the notifications by, amongst others, Monzo and
Commonwealth Bank of Australia of possible fraud involving
the Ticketmaster website, the integrity of the chat bot was
not initially checked, assessed or otherwise tested to ensure
that it has not been compromised. Indeed, it took
Ticketmaster approximately nine weeks from the date of
Monzo's notification of possible fraud involving the
Ticketmaster website for Ticketmaster to run a payment
through its payment page and monitor the network traffic
thereon.
43 
6.22.6 Whilst the Commissioner acknowledges Inbenta's contractual
obligations to Ticketmaster to keep its software free from
malware and Ticketmaster's observations at Comments §13,
Ticketmaster nevertheless failed to implement a layered
approach to security, including by meeting the requirements
of the PCI-DSS in relation to the chat bot. The Commissioner
considered that, in light of the clear risk of third party scripts
within a payment page, and the scale of personal data,
including payment card data, processed on the payment
page, such a layered approach to security, and compliance
with the PCI-DSS in relation to the chat bot, was an
appropriate level of security required.
6.22.7 In addition, Ticketmaster was notified of potential
unauthorised access to its system from as early as 6 April
2018 by Monzo Bank. During the time period of 6 April 2018
to 10 May 2018 it received further notifications from Monzo
Bank, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Barclays, Mastercard
and American Express, as to which see further above. Visa
provided specific information to Ticketmaster that fraud could
be occurring via malicious third party JavaScript content. A
twitter user notified Ticketmaster explaining the malicious
code was within the chat bot on the Ticketmaster website,
and explained what it was doing. At no times during this time
period did Ticketmaster take steps properly to verify the chat
bot.
6.22.8 It was not until a member of the public explained the
malicious code to Ticketmaster that Ticketmaster raised the
issue with Inbenta. At no time did Ticketmaster verify the
code was malicious itself.
6.22.9 That certain responses of Inbenta were then false or
materially inaccurate and continued to be, including upon
Ticketmaster having been notified of the attack vector of the
Personal Data Breach otherwise than by Inbenta (including
on Twitter, as to which see Ticketmaster's response to the
tweet and clarification sought by Ticketmaster above)
Ticketmaster continued to place undue reliance on Inbenta's
contractual security obligations and failed to take sufficient
44 
and timely steps of its own to address the security of the chat
bot.
6.23. As to the implementation of the Inbenta chat bot into Ticketmaster's
own infrastructure, the following illustrative proportionate steps that
might have been taken by Ticketmaster have been identified:
6.23.1 Because a chat bot is not strictly necessary for the service
of taking a payment, common industry guidance and
standards did not recommend its inclusion on the payment
page of a website. Ticketmaster, however, decided to
include the chat bot on the payment page of its website. All
third party scripts, save for a Google Analytics script, were
removed from the payment page of Ticketmaster's website
only after the Personal Data Breach. Removing the chat bot
from the payment page from the outset is not a
disproportionately burdensome measure.
6.23.2 Because the payment page processed personal data,
Ticketmaster should have risk-assessed the implementation
of third party scripts into this page. Ticketmaster have been
unable to show threat analysis documentation or that they
took into consideration the risk of implementing third party
scripts into a webpage that processed personal data prior to
the Personal Data Breach.
6.23.3 Ticketmaster have submitted emails which show it is likely
that Inbenta were aware that the chat bot was to form part
of the Ticketmaster customer experience, up to and
including the payment page. Notwithstanding this, it was
still the responsibility of Ticketmaster to put measures in
place on its own payment page to address the documented
risk of third party scripts. Technical measures in line with
the state of the art were available to it, such as SRI. These
measures could have significantly reduced the likelihood of
a successful compromise of the personal data that
Ticketmaster processed, even in light of Inbenta's security
failings. Indeed this is the very issue that SRI seeks to
address. That Inbenta knew of the chat bot on the payment
page does not materially change this matter.
45 
6.23.4 Ticketmaster was unable to demonstrate it had any other
appropriate measures that would have provided a
comparable level of protection taking into consideration the
requirements of Article 32 of the GDPR.
6.24. As to on-going verification that security was being achieved to
an acceptable level:
6.24.1. Ticketmaster provided no evidence to show that key
performance indicators relating to the verification of the ongoing security of the chat bot were used prior to the Personal
Data Breach. Ticketmaster has not evidenced that it carried
out reviews in such a way that would have detected and
mitigated the risk of malicious code changes.
6.24.2. Ticketmaster confirmed that it had no visibility of changes
to the script of the chat bot made by Inbenta prior to the
Personal Data Breach. Any changes to the script would have
been automatically applied without authorisation from
Ticketmaster. Ticketmaster was therefore unable to
understand fully or assess the risks posed to its systems or
to ensure the ongoing integrity of it systems.
6.24.3. Ticketmaster did not adequately test, assess or evaluate
whether the security measures operating between the chat
bot and its own payment page were adequate to address the
known risks of third party scripts. By way of illustration, the
following were not undertaken:
6.24.3.1. Paragraphs 3.49 and 3.50 above are repeated.
Ticketmaster did not perform an adequate risk
assessment of the security measures operating
between the chat bot and its own payment page prior
to the implementation of the chat bot.
6.24.3.2. Further, no adequate security testing was carried out
specific to the interaction between the third party
application and the payment page after
implementation of the chat bot, including a security
assessment that assessed the security measures in
46 
place that were designed to prevent or detect
malicious changes to the chat bot.
6.24.3.3. Ticketmaster confirmed that sub-resource integrity
(SRI)) had not been implemented prior to the
Personal Data Breach.
6.24.3.4. In its letter dated 21 January 2019 Ticketmaster
stated that SRI is not a workable solution for dynamic
JavaScript because its domains are highly dynamic
and that implementing SRI would pose enormous
organisational challenges because Ticketmaster
would be required to update SRI every time Inbenta
changed the code.
6.24.3.5. Ticketmaster provided further information that it was
unaware exactly how often Inbenta made any
changes. Therefore it was unknown to Ticketmaster
at the time whether this would impose enormous
organisational challenges.
6.24.3.6. Furthermore, Ticketmaster was unable to
demonstrate any formal decision making with regard
to SRI. The Commissioner does not consider the mere
fact that JavaScript may be used as a dynamic
scripting language is, of itself, a proper reason not to
implement SRI. The Commissioner and maintains
that SRI was an appropriate measure with regard to
the state of the art, taking into account the scale and
sensitivity of the personal data within the
Ticketmaster payment page.
6.24.3.7. In addition, Ticketmaster provided information that at
the time of the Personal Data Breach more than half
of its customers would have benefitted from the
inclusion of SRI.
6.24.3.8. The ICO views this type of measure as an appropriate
measure to implement in this circumstance.
47 
6.24.3.9. In addition, other measures were also available to
Ticketmaster that could have been used with, or
independently from, SRI, namely local hosting,
content security policies and iFrames, should
Ticketmaster wish to have proceeded with the
chatbox on the payment page without SRI.
6.24.3.10. Ticketmaster confirmed that it did not use local
hosting of the script for the chat bot prior to the
Personal Data Breach.
6.24.3.11. The Commissioner accepts that the script was not
hosted locally and that Ticketmaster might have been
entitled to allow Inbenta to host it, as is common with
many other third party scripts.
6.24.3.12. However the Commissioner would expect that
Ticketmaster would have implemented commonly
used measures, such as SRI. Where Ticketmaster
could not, the Commissioner would expect
Ticketmaster to have been able to demonstrate why
that was the case and clearly to show that it had
taken into consideration other alternative and
appropriate measures, such as CSP, iFrame, the local
hosting of the script, which is now Inbenta's
recommendation.
6.24.3.13. Ticketmaster confirmed that a content security policy
was not used prior to the Personal Data Breach.
6.24.3.14. Ticketmaster did not use iFrames (i.e. a method of
embedding a web page within another webpage such
that one is isolated from another). In respect of
iFrames, Ticketmaster provided information that it
did not have in place iFrames at the time of the
incident. It stated it used other security measures,
such as a contract that the chat bot should remain
free of malicious software, as an alternative. The
Commissioner does not accept that this contract
offered an alternative appropriate level of security
comparable with solutions such as SRI and, iFrames.
48 
6.24.3.15. In respect of a content security policy, Ticketmaster
provided information that it implemented this after
the Personal Data Breach, notwithstanding the
removal of the chat bot.
6.24.3.16. The ICO would not expect Ticketmaster to undertake
the type of white box testing described in its
Representations, namely of the actual proprietary
chat bot source code. However, it is relevant that
Ticketmaster did not have a method in place to test
the security measures between the chat bot and
Ticketmaster's own payment page, and a fortiori was
unable to identify whether such measures would have
been adequate to mitigate the known risks.
6.25. Ticketmaster was unable to demonstrate it had any other
appropriate measures that would have provided a comparable
level of protection taking into consideration the requirements of
Article 32 of the GDPR.
6.26. The GDPR does not prevent an organisation from implementing
third party scripts. Rather, the GDPR requires that each
organisation assess the risks arising in the circumstances of their
own implementation and put controls in place to protect the
personal data that it processes. Ticketmaster has shown very
limited knowledge at the date of the Incident of the risk of
implementing third party scripts into a payment page, despite it
being widely known and documented at that time. A fortiori,
Ticketmaster has not evidenced that it deployed appropriate and
proportionate controls to manage this risk.
Article 33
6.27. At the NOi stage, a provisional finding of breach of Article 33 GDPR
was proposed. However, this finding no longer forms part of the
decision against Ticketmaster.
49 
6.28. In reaching this decision, the Commissioner considered
Ticketmaster's Representations16 asserting that, for the purposes of
identifying a breach of Article 33 GDPR: (i) the Commissioner had
applied "an incorrect standard for becoming "aware" of a breach" ;
(ii) the Commissioner had not considered "the significance of the
Barclaycard notification that only occurred on 22 June 2018, or its
resulting shift in investigative focus" ; and (iii) the Commissioner had
"rested on incorrect facts and unrealistic assumptions that unfairly
second-guess the decisions that Ticketmaster made at the time as
to how to direct its investigations.e"
6.29. In this particular case, and in the context of Ticketmaster's
Representations, the Commissioner has decided not to make a
finding that Ticketmaster breached Article 33 GDPR.
7 R EASONS FOR IMPOSI NG A PENAL TY & CALCU LATION OF THE
APPROPRIATE A MOUNT
7.1 For the reasons set out above, the Commissioner's view is that
Ticketmaster has failed to comply with Articles 5(1)(f) and 32 GDPR.
These failures fall within the scope of section 149(2) and 155(1)(a)
DPA. For the reasons explained below, the Commissioner has
decided that it is appropriate to impose a penalty in the light of the
infringements she has identified.
7.2 In deciding to impose a penalty, and calculating the appropriate
amount, the Commissioner has had regard to the matters listed in
Articles 83e(1) and (2) GDPR and has applied the five-step approach
set out in her RAP.
The imposition of a penalty is appropriate in this case
7.3 Both the RAP and Article 83 GDPR provide guidance as to the
circumstances in which it is appropriate to impose an administrative
fine or penalty for breaches of the obligations imposed by the GDPR.
7.4 Article 83e(2) GDPR lists a number of factors that must be taken into
account. These are each discussed in detail below in determining the
appropriate level of fine, in accordance with the steps outlined in the
RAP. The points made below are also relied upon in justifying the
16 At §55ff of Ticketmaster's First Representations.
50 
Commissioner's decision to impose a penalty, in the light of the
findings of infringement set out above.
7.5 The RAP provides guidance on when the Commissioner will deem a
penalty to be appropriate. In particular, the RAP explains that a
penalty is more likely to be imposed where, inter alia, (a) a number
of individuals have been affected; (b) there has been a degree of
damage or harm (which may include distress and/or
embarrassment) ; and ( c) there has been a failure to apply
reasonable measures (including relating to privacy by design) to
mitigate any breach (or the possibility of it).
7.6 Taking together the findings made above about the nature of the
infringements, their likely impact, and the fact that Ticketmaster for
the purposes of Article 83 (2) (b) negligently (but not intentionally)
failed to comply with its GDPR obligations, the Commissioner
considers it appropriate to apply an effective, dissuasive and
proportionate penalty, reflecting the seriousness of the breaches
which have occurred.
Calculation of the appropriate penalty
Step 1: an 'initial element' removing any financial gain from the breach
7. 7 Ticketmaster's 2018 Annual Report and Financial Statements are the
most recent audited financial information available and have been
relied upon by the Commissioner for the purposes of this Penalty
Notice.e17 In those accounts, Ticketmaster's turnover was recorded
as £102,912,000.00 with a post-tax loss of £22,548,000.00.
£3,989,000.00 of legal costs were attributable to the Incident. No
gain arising from the Incident can be identified.
17 Ticketmaster's audited accou nts for the period endi ng 31 December 2019 have not been fi led at Companies
House, nor have unaudited accou nts been provided by Ticketmaster to the Commissioner for the purposes of
the investigation of the Personal Data Breach and the setti ng of the penalty u nder Article 83(5) G DPR.
51 
Step 2: Adding in an element to censure the breach based on its scale and
severity, taking into account the considerations identified at sections
155(2)-( 4) DPA
7.8 Sections 155(2)-( 4) DPA refer to and reproduce the matters listed
in Articles 83(1) and 83(2).
The nature, gravity and duration of the failure (Article
83(2)(a))
7.9 This was a significant contravention of the GDPR. The Personal Data
Breach continued from 25 May 2018 to 23 June 2018, during which
period it remained undetected by Ticketmaster's systems.
7.10 During this time the attacker was potentially able to access the
payment card details of approximately 9.4 million customers, of
whom approximately 1.5 million were UK customers. Ticketmaster
are unable to provide a breakdown of the number of affected
customers pre- and post-GDPR.
7.11 As of 31 May 2018, reports had also been received by Ticketmaster
from the Bank of Australia, MasterCard, Barclays, American Express
and Monzo Bank, as well as Twitter users, all of whom informed
Ticketmaster that it was the source of a payment card breach.
7.12 The Incident Response Team's instructions were ineffective in scope
and depth and not all relevant information was provided initially.
7.12.1 The Incident Response Team's instructions were initially
confined to Microsoft Windows systems. Third party content
such as JavaScripts would not have been included within the
scope of the Incident Response Team's instructions
accordingly.
7.12.2 Had Ticketmaster requested the Incident Response Team to
investigate the whole payment environment on Ticketmaster's
website, that would have included any scripts within the
payment page of the website and accordingly increased the
likelihood that the mechanism of the Personal Data Breach
would have been identified earlier.
52 
7.12.3 The Incident Response Team suggested that the information
initially received from Ticketmaster concerned the Australia
Event alone.
7.12.4 Ticketmaster provided information from Visa to the Incident
Response Team on 10 May 2018. Had Ticketmaster instructed
the Incident Response Team to extend its investigations from
the Australia Event to the EU/United Kingdom market, the
prospects of identifying the Personal Data Breach earlier would
have increased.
7.12.5 It was not until 6 June 2018 that Ticketmaster requested the
Incident Response Team to investigate Ticketmaster's United
Kingdom website.
7.12.6 The scope and depth of the investigations conducted by the
Incident Response Team were limited accordingly.
7.13 Ticketmaster carried out passive monitoring of its payment page on
23 June 2018 by running card details through the payment page and
monitoring network traffic. Had passive monitoring been undertaken
in the first instance, there would have been an increased likelihood
that the mechanism of the Personal Data Breach would have been
identified earlier.
7.14 Ticketmaster failed to act in accordance with the PCI-DSS standard,
as to which see further above.
The intentional or negligent character of the infringement
(Article 83(2) (b))
7.15 The Personal Data Breach was not intentional or deliberate.
However, Ticketmaster displayed a lack of consideration to protect
personal data and was negligent for the purposes of Article 83(2)(b).
It was negligent of Ticketmaster to presume, without adequate
oversight or technical measures, that Inbenta could provide an
appropriate level of security in respect of the processing of payment
cards. In particular, Ticketmaster's breach of the PCI-DSS standard
was negligent for the purposes of Article 83(2)(b).
7.16 The malicious actor took advantage of Ticketmaster's inability to
detect changes to scripts on its payment page. Following industry
53 
guidance could have mitigated this risk. Ticketmaster should have
been aware of the risks to personal data in the circumstances.
7.17 The decision to install the chat bot on the payment page of
Ticketmaster's website was an identified failure and gave rise to a
risk of a personal data breach. That risk had been identified
contemporaneously in publications, about the substance of which
Ticketmaster ought to have had knowledge.
7.18 Controls were available to Ticketmaster that could have identified
the breach, but they were not used for an extended period.
Any action taken by the controller or processor to mitigate
the damage suffered by data subjects (Article 83(2)(c))
7.19 Once Ticketmaster removed the chat bot from its website, the
Breach ended.
7.20 Ticketmaster created a website where customers and media could
receive information about the Personal Data Breach.
7.21 Ticketmaster arranged for 12 months of credit monitoring for
individual affected.
7.22 Ticketmaster forced password resets across all of its domains.
7.23
7.24 It is noted that Ticketmaster has submitted at §75.2 of the First
Representations that the small number of cards reported as
compromised relative to the volume of transactions during the
Incident should be regarded as a mitigating factor. That submission
carries little weight. The raw number of affected or potentially
affected individuals is very much more significant when assessing
the gravity of the breach. In any event, the low ratio of affected
cards as against the transaction volume is likely a feature of the
intermittent attack vector, and not a consequence of any steps
taken by Ticketmaster during the period of the Incident.
54 
The degree of responsibility of the controller or processor
(Article 83)e(2)e(d))
7.25 Ticketmaster failed in its obligations under Article 5(1)(f) and
Article 21(1) GDPR and relevant sections of the DPA to have
regard to considerations including the state of the art, likelihood
of attack, its severity and what appropriate controls were
available at the time.
7.26 In that regard, it is noted that Ticketmaster was entirely
responsible for the security of its systems and the protection of
personal data.
Relevant previous infringements (Article 83(2) (e))
7.27 No other compliance matters or infringements have been taken
into account when setting the amount of the penalty.
Degree of cooperation with supervisory authority (Article
83(2)(f))
7.28 Ticketmaster has fully co-operated with the Commissioner during
this investigation and has provided evidence upon request, save
as to the financial information referred to below.
Categories of personal data affected (Article 83(2) (g))
7.29 As set out above, Ticketmaster have provided information that
the personal data of approximately 9.4 million customers
potentially affected was likely to have included basic personal
identifiers (e.g. names and contact details), identification data
(e.g. usernames and passwords), and financial data (e.g. bank
details and credit card, debit card and CVV numbers).
Manner in which the infringement became known to the
Commissioner (Article 83(2) (h))
55 
7.30 Ticketmaster reported this incident to the Commissioner on 23
June 2018. However, as set out above, Monzo and other third
parties informed Ticketmaster of a potential personal data breach
as early as February 2018.
Conclusion at step 2
7.31 Taking into account: (a) the matters set out in the preceding
sections of this Penalty Notice; (b) the matters referred to in this
section; and (c) the need to apply an effective, proportionate and
dissuasive fine in the context of a controller of Ticketmaster's
scale and turnover, the Commissioner had considered that a
penalty of £1,500,000.00 would have been appropriate. A penalty
of that scale was referred to in the NOi. This amount was
considered appropriate to reflect the seriousness of the breach
and took into account in particular the need for the penalty to be
effective, proportionate and dissuasive. As set out below, the
penalty has since been revised downwards to £1,250,000.
Step 3: Adding in an element to reflect any aggravating factors (Article
83e(2)e(k))
7.32 The amount of the penalty, as identified at Step 2, may be
increased where there are 'other' aggravating factors.e18 In this
case, the Commissioner does not consider there to be any other
relevant aggravating factors. Thus, no adjustment is made to the
penalty level determined at Step 2.
Step 4: Adding in an amount for a deterrent effect on others
7.33 As to the need for an effective deterrent, the Commissioner
considers that a fine, accompanied by appropriate
communications in accordance with the Communicating
Regulating Enforcement Action Policy, would serve as an effective
deterrent.
18 In accordance with Article 83(2 )(k) G DPR, section 155(3)(k) D PA, and page 11 of the RAP.
56 
Step 5: Reducing the amount (save that in the initial element) to reflect
any mitigating factors, including ability to pay (financial hardship) (Article
83(2)(k))
7.34 The Commissioner has considered the following mitigating
factors:
7.34.1 The facts and matters set out below under the subheading "Ticketmaster's other representations on the
decision to impose a penalty and the appropriate Penalty
amount", which are relevant to the issue of financial
hardship.
7.34.2 Once Ticketmaster removed the chat bot from its
website, the Personal Data Breach ended.
7.34.3 Ticketmaster forced password resets across all of its
domains.
7.34.4 The Commissioner is not aware of any outstanding
compliance matters that would suggest that further steps
to mitigate the damage or distress suffered by data
subjects are required.
7.34.5 Ticketmaster created a website where customers and
media could receive information about the Personal Data
Breach.
7.34.6 Ticketmaster has incurred considerable costs in relation
to the Infringement, including the cost of twelve months
of credit monitoring offered to all affected customers and
legal costs.
7.34.7
7.35 By its Comments, Ticketmaster notes that "there has been no
evidence in the course of the ICO's investigation that the data
subject affected by the Incident suffered any harm". The
57 
Commissioner does not regard the absence of harm upon a data
breach to be, of itself, a mitigating factor in the circumstances of
the Personal Data Breach.
Application of the fining tier(s) (Articles 83(4) and (5) GDPR)
7.36 The infringement of Article 5(1)(f) GDPR falls within Article
83(5)(a) GDPR, whereas Article 32 falls within Article 83(4)(a).
The appropriate tier is therefore that imposed by Article 83(5)(a)
as this is the gravest breach in issue in this case.
Ticketmaster's other representations on the decision to impose a penalty
and the appropriate Penalty amount
7.37 Ticketmaster's Financial Impact Representations included:
7.37 .1 Ticketmaster's primary business is the marketing and sale of
tickets to live spots, music and entertainment events.
7.37.2
7.37.3 Ticketmaster observed that nearly all events in the second,
third and fourth quarters of 2020 have been cancelled or
7.37.4
7.37.5
rescheduled to 2021 by reason of Covid-19.
58 
7.37.6 In light of Covid-19, Ticketmaster had taken steps to reduce
its operating costs, including by way of salary cuts,
cancellation of events, and extensive staff furloughing.
7.37.7
Ticketmaster submitted that: " ...
given the unprecedented decline in Ticketmaster's anticipated
Q2-Q4 ticket sales precipitated by COVID-19, it would be
disproportionate and unjust for the ICO calculate a proposed
penalty based on 2018 or 2019 revenues under Article 83(4)."
7.37 .8 Ticketmaster relied upon the Commissioner's statement dated
15 April 2020 entitled "The ICO's regulatory approach during
the coronavirus public health emergency", including the
acknowledgment therein that: "the current coronavirus public
health emergency means that ... organisations are facing acute
financial pressures impacting their finances and cash flows.e"
The statement further provided: " ... before issuing fines we
take into account the economic impact and affordability. In
current circumstances, this is likely to mean the level of fines
reduces."
7.37.9 Ticketmaster requested that the Commissioner eliminate or
reduce the proposed £1,500,000 penalty "to account for the
significant financial challenges faced by Ticketmaster as a
result of the COVID-19 pandemic. ... Under these exceptional
circumstances, Ticketmaster respectfully submits that the
£1.5 million penalty proposed in the NOI is no longer
proportionate under Article 83(1) GDPR, based on
Ticketmaster's anticipated 2020 revenues.e"
7.38 The Commissioner has had regard to the impact of Covid-19 on
Ticketmaster and the continuing uncertainty resulting therefrom,
as described in Ticketmaster's Financial Impact Representations,
including:
7.38.1 It is clear that the penalty of £1,500,000.00 proposed in
the NOi would add to Ticketmaster's predicted operating
loss.
7.38.2 Ticketmaster asserts that the Covid-19 pandemic has had
a substantial impact on its business.
59 
7.38.3
Ticketmaster presents
evidence to support these statements.
7.38.4 Ticketmaster provided some limited additional
information, explaining that
compared to an operating profit of around £4,000,000 in
2018. No detail or explanation has been provided to
support these assertions.
7.38.5 Despite the detailed questions sent to Ticketmaster by
the Commissioner, it has not provided any details on its
debt position or liquidity.
7.39 Notwithstanding, the Commissioner has had regard to
Ticketmaster's failure to answer some questions in relation to
costs and failure to provide more general information as to its
financial position and the government support it is presently
receiving.
7.40 Having regard to the exceptional circumstances prevailing as a
consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Commissioner has
decided to make a proportionate reduction in the penalty from
£1,500,000 to £1,250,000. The Commissioner notes with respect
to the revised penalty sum:
7.40.1 Having considered Ticketmaster's Financial Impact
Representations, the Commissioner finds that
60 
Ticketmaster has the financial means to be able to pay
the penalty.
7.40.2 The Commissioner's policy "The ICO's regulatory
approach during the coronavirus public health
emergency" (published on 13 July 2020 at
https: //ico.org. u k/med ia/about-the-ico/policies-andprocedu res/2617613/ico-regu latory-approach-du ringcoronavirus. pdf) provided:
" We will be flexible in our approach, taking into account
the impact of the potential economic or resource burdens
our actions could place on organisations .
... the ICO will continue to act proportionately, balancing
the benefit to the public of taking regulatory action
against the potential detrimental effect of doing so,
taking into account the particular challenges being faced
at this time .e...
7. As set out in the Regulatory Action Policy, before
issuing fines we take into account the economic impact
and affordability. In current circumstances, this is likely
to mean the level of fines reduces.e"
7.40.3 Taking into account the Commissioner's regulatory
approach during the Covid-19 pandemic, an exceptional
reduction of the proposed penalty by £250,000 was
determined to be proportionate. The penalty sum is
accordingly £1,250,000.
8 HOW THE PENALTY IS TO BE PAID
8.1 The penalty must be paid to the Commissioner's office by BACS
transfer or cheque by 15 December 2020 at the latest. The penalty
is not kept by the Commissioner but will be paid into the
Consolidated Fund which is the Government's general bank
account at the Bank of England.
61 
9 ENFORCEMENT POWERS
9.1 The Commissioner will not take action to enforce a penalty
unless:
• the period specified within the notice within which a penalty
must be paid has expired and all or any of the penalty has not
been paid;
• all relevant appeals against the penalty notice and any variation
of it have either been decided or withdrawn; and
• the period for appealing against the penalty and any variation
of it has expired.
9.2 In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, the penalty is
recoverable by Order of the County Court or the High Court. In
Scotland, the penalty can be enforced in the same manner as
an extract registered decree arbitral bearing a warrant for
execution issued by the sheriff court of any sheriffdom in
Scotland.
Dated the 13th day of November 2020
Stephen Eckersley
Director of Investigations
Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 SAF
62 
ANNEX 1
RIGHTS OF APPEAL AGAINST DECISIONS OF THE COMMISSIONER
1. Section 162(1) of the Data Protection Act 2018 gives any
person upon whom a penalty notice has been served a right of
appeal to the First-tier Tribunal (Information Rights) (the
'Tribunal') against the notice.
2. If you decide to appeal and if the Tribunal considers:ea) that the notice against which the appeal is brought is
not in accordance with the law; or
b) to the extent that the notice involved an exercise of
discretion by the Commissioner, that she ought to have
exercised her discretion differently,
the Tribunal will allow the appeal or substitute such other
decision as could have been made by the Commissioner. In
any other case the Tribunal will dismiss the appeal.
3. You may bring an appeal by serving a notice of appeal on the
Tribunal at the following address:
General Regulatory Chamber
HM Courts & Tribunals Service
PO Box 9300
Leicester
LE1 8DJ
a) The notice of appeal should be sent so it is received by
the Tribunal within 28 days of the date of the notice.
63 
b) If your notice of appeal is late the Tribunal will not admit
it unless the Tribunal has extended the time for
complying with this rule.
4. The notice of appeal should state: -
a) your name and address/name and address of your
representative (if any)e;
b) an address where documents may be sent or delivered
to you;
c) the name and address of the Information
Commissioner ;
d) details of the decision to which the proceedings relate;
e) the result that you are seeking;
f) the grounds on which you rely;
g) you must provide with the notice of appeal a copy of the
penalty notice or variation notice;
h) if you have exceeded the time limit mentioned above
the notice of appeal must include a request for an
extension of time and the reason why the notice of
appeal was not provided in time.
5. Before deciding whether or not to appeal you may wish to
consult your solicitor or another adviser. At the hearing of an
appeal a party may conduct his case himself or may be
represented by any person whom he may appoint for that
purpose.
6. The statutory prov1s1ons concerning appeals to the First-tier
Tribunal (General Regulatory Chamber) are contained in
sections 162 and 163 of, and Schedule 16 to, the Data
Protection Act 2018, and Tribunal Procedure (First-tier
Tribunal) (General Regulatory Chamber) Rules 2009 (Statutory
Instrument 2009 No. 1976 (L.20)).
64 
Annex 2
Chronology
Part 1: Chronology of information in relation to the incident prior to
Ticketmaster reporting personal data breach to ICO.
Part 2: Chronology of information in relation to the ICO's investigation
into the personal data breach ("the Breach").
Part 1:
10 February 2018: An unknown attacker injected malicious code into an
Inbenta hosted chat bot. At the time of the attack, the chat bot was
added on to Ticketmaster payment page. The malicious code extracted
copies of any data submitted on the payment page including payment
card data.
20 February 2018: By Ticketmaster's Comments at §18, it is stated that
as early as 20 February 2018, Inbenta "was aware of a potential
compromise of its code".
06 April 2018: 50 customers contacted Monzo Bank ("Monzo") to report
fraudulent transactions on their account. On investigation, Monzo's
Financial Crime and Security Team reported that 70% of the customers
affected had shopped at Ticketmaster previously. Monzo reported that
this was unusual as overall only 0.8% of all their customers had used this
merchant.
7-8 April 2018: Monzo recorded a further four fraudulent transactions, of
which two had previously used Ticketmaster.
12 April 2018: Monzo reported to Ticketmaster that they were trying to
contact them regarding suspected fraudulent activity but were unable to
get further than the Ticketmaster customer service team.
65 
Ticketmaster responded on the same day and arranged a same day
meeting.
12-16 April 2018: Monzo reported eight other attempted fraudulent
transactions of which six had previously been used by Ticketmaster.
16 April 2018: Monzo provide Ticketmaster with information regarding
one particular payment card that was unique. On 07 March 2018 a
legitimate customer tried to make the purchase on the Ticketmaster
website and accidentally inputted the expiry date so the transaction
failed. The attacker would have been unaware the transaction had failed
they would have just received the card number with the incorrect expiry
date. That same payment card and incorrect expiry data was then used in
an attempted fraudulent transaction on 12 March 2018.
16 April 2018: Monzo provide information to Ticketmaster on how they
were able to detect the trend: to summarise, Monzo were able to carry
out real time monitoring.
At the same time Monzo supplied information to Ticketmaster that, during
April 2018, 70% of all its fraudulent transactions occurred from customers
who had previously shopped at Ticketmaster. It provided further
information that these Ticketmaster transactions occurred within clusters
of dates. Monzo explained this was evidence that Ticketmaster was the
source of the breach.
19 April 2018: Monzo reported to Ticketmaster a further 11 compromised
cards, all of which had previously used Ticketmaster.
19 April 2018: Monzo reported an additional 20 compromised cards, all of
which had previously had purchases from Ticketmaster.
19 April 2018: Monzo reported to Ticketmaster that they had made the
decision to replace 6,000 payment cards of customers that have
previously shopped at Ticketmaster.
66 
19 April 2018: Ticketmaster were notified of suspected fraud by the
Commonwealth Bank of Australia ("CBA") containing 198 accounts that
shared Ticketmaster as the common purchase point ("the Australia
breach").
During the period between 19 April 2018 and 26 April 2018 Barclays,
MasterCard and American Express suggested to Ticketmaster that
fraudulent activity involving Ticketmaster was occurring.
27 April 2018: Monzo reported to Ticketmaster that they had noticed a
sharp decline in fraudulent transactions since mass replacement of the
payments card of customers that had previously shopped at Ticketmaster.
01 May 2018: CBA provided information to Ticketmaster that 1,756
Mastercard users had been victims of fraud, all of whom had undertaken
recent transactions on Ticketmaster's Australian website.
03 May 2018: Ticketmaster engaged four third party forensic firms ("the
incident response team") to investigate the Australia breach.
06 May 2018: A security researcher contacted Ticketmaster New Zealand
via Twitter stating that he believed there was malicious code contained
within the chat bot.
09 May 2018: Ticketmaster had not responded to this tweet. The Twitter
user prompted Ticketmaster for a response. On the same day
Ticketmaster replied providing information that it was not malicious code
but was the chat bot.
09 May 2018: Twitter user replied advising Ticketmaster that they were
incorrect and malicious code was in the chat bot. They provided
information that there was a line of code that was submitting information
to a website hosted by an external person in the UAE. The Twitter user
also informed Ticketmaster that the scripts were hosted on two different
servers, one of which was infected (i.e. some customers would receive
the correct chat bot, and some would receive the malicious chat bot).
67 
Ticketmaster confirmed that they would investigate the matter.
10 May 2018: Visa provided Ticketmaster information that the fraud could
be caused by malicious third-party content.
10 May 2018: Ticketmaster raised the issue of malicious code with
Inbenta.
15 May 2018: Inbenta confirmed the issue was fixed and provided
information that the malicious code was due to a "bad deployment of the
code".
15 May 2018: Ticketmaster replied to Inbenta's email asking why there
was a line of code that was sending data to the UAE. In this email,
Ticketmaster stated that "we are not techs so the [previous] information
doesn't mean a great deal."
22 May 2018: Ticketmaster reported to Inbenta that the malicious code
was back.
30 May 2018: Inbenta reported to Ticketmaster that "the Ticketmaster
avatar was built along time ago and is not using the latest application
version and this is the reason why some suspicious code is injected
there".
31 May 2018: Another individual who had been using the Ticketmaster
Ireland website disclosed that his antivirus product was flagging up the
website as malicious, in particular regarding the chat bot and malicious
network traffic.
31 May 2018: In reply to the information Ticketmaster received on 31
May 2018 internal emails show that Ticketmaster's Information Security
team was aware of anti-virus products detecting the Inbenta Chat bot as
malicious on multiple occasions. It stated that "we've had this a few times
now from Inbenta" and that "the worse case scenario is that they
68 
[Inbenta] are indeed hacked/infected and serving up rogue malicious
content to our userbase"
01 June 2018: Ticketmaster confirmed via email that Inbenta had fixed
the link in the past but "somehow it gets changed". In the same email,
Ticketmaster confirmed that only Norton AV picks up the link as
malicious. Ticketmaster stated that the
06 June 2018: Another Twitter user provided information to Ticketmaster
that he was "getting lots of Symantec alerts" about the chat bot in
Australia. (Symantec is an Anti-Virus provider)
06 June 2018: Following a telephone call the previous day, Inbenta
emailed Ticketmaster to indicate that the identification of Ticketmaster's
website as malicious by an antivirus product was erroneous.
06 June 2018: Ticketmaster instructed the incident response team to
expand the investigation from Australia to all Ticketmaster domains. The
incident response team undertook this within the scope of their contract
with Ticketmaster.
08 June 2018: Ticketmaster reported that the incident report team had
scanned 117 terabytes of data to search for malware and found no
indication of malware. Ticketmaster reported that it was advised to
"discontinue the hunt".
22 June 2018: Barclays contacted Ticketmaster to make it aware of
37,300 instances of known fraud from customers that had used
Ticketmaster between February-June 2018.
23 June 2018: Ticketmaster ran a payment through the UK Ticketmaster
payment page and monitored the data flow. Ticketmaster detected that
the data was being sent to a foreign domain, which it later confirmed as
belonging to the attacker.
23 June 2018: The chat bot was fully disabled for all the territories save
for France which was disabled on the 24 June 2018.
69 
Part 2:
23 June 2018: Ticketmaster submitted a personal data breach ("PDB")
notification to the ICO.
26 June 2018: Barclays provided the ICO with information on how the
Breach came to light and the effect on Barclays' customers. It advised
that other banks had also seen similar fraudulent activity on their cards,
which appeared to be linked to Ticketmaster.
27 June 2018: Ticketmaster reported to the the ICO that it was in the
process of notifying customers in the UK regarding the Breach as per its
Article 34 requirements.
27 June 2018: Ticketmaster provided the ICO with a copy of its data
subject notification.
27 June 2018: Ticketmaster provided the ICO with an update as to the
status of its internal investigation into the Breach.
29 June 2018: Ticketmaster provided the ICO with an updated PDB
report.
29 June 2018: ICO issued the first letter of enquires to TM (technical and
data protection questions).
13 July 2018: Ticketmaster responded to the ICO letter of 29 June 2018.
13 July 2018: Ticketmaster provided the ICO with a timeline of the
Breach as per its internal investigation.
27 July 2018: Ticketmaster provided a further response to the ICO's letter
of 29 June 2018.
70 
27 July 2018: Ticketmaster provided information from Inbenta in relation
to the Breach.
01 August 2018: ICO issued the second letter of enquiry to TM
establishing data subject locations.
06 August 2018: Ticketmaster responded to the ICO letter 01 August
2018.
08 August 2018: ICO issued the third letter of enquires to TM (technical
and data protection questions).
10 August 2018: Ticketmaster responded to the ICO letter 29 June 2018.
22 August 2018: Ticketmaster responded to the ICO letter 08 August
2018.
01 October 2018: Ticketmaster provided the ICO with an update relating
to key facts of its internal investigation into the Breach.
09 November 2018: ICO issued the fourth letter of enquires to TM
(technical and data protection questions).
13 November 2018: Ticketmaster responded to the ICO letter 09
November 2018.
23 November 2018: Ticketmaster provided further responses to the ICO
letter 09 November 2018.
29 November 2018: ICO issued the fifth letter of enquires to Ticketmaster
(technical and data protection questions).
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18 December 2018: ICO issued the sixth letter of enquires to
Ticketmaster (technical and data protection questions).
21 January 2019: Ticketmaster responded to the ICO letter 18 December
2018.
28 February 2019: ICO issued the seventh letter of enquires to
Ticketmaster.
21 March 2019: ICO issued the eighth letter of enquires to Ticketmaster.
07 February 2020: ICO issued Notice of Intent to Ticketmaster with a
proposed penalty of £1,500,000.
13 February 2020: Ticketmaster requested an extension to respond to the
Notice of Intent.
24 February 2020: ICO Director of Investigations authorised the
extension.
07 April 2020: Ticketmaster submitted representations in relation to the
Notice of Intent issued to it on 07 February 2020. In its representations,
Ticketmaster also requested further information from the ICO in relation
to aspects of the Notice of Intent.
22 May 2020: Ticketmaster submitted financial representations in relation
to the impact of COVID-19.
5 June 2020: ICO issued further information to Ticketmaster in relation to
its requests for further information.
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08 June 2020: Ticketmaster requested an extension in relation to
responding to the further information submitted to it on 5 June 2020.
08 June 2020: ICO Director of Investigations authorised a one week
extension.
17 June 2020: Ticketmaster submitted further representations in relation
to the Notice of Intent.
73