IF the £183.4 million fine imposed by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) on British Airways is upheld to whom will that money be paid. Does it go to the ICO, or simply into the Exchequer coffers?

You report (“British Airways faces record fine after customer data hacked", The Herald, July 9 ) that according to the ICO the data of around half a million passengers was hacked and thus compromised. It follows that whilst BA has lost face by not preventing this hacking, it was those passengers who were the real victims of it. It hardly seems enough for BA to simply “apologise to our customers for any inconvenience this event caused", and if anyone is entitled to receive the proceeds of any fine should it not be those customers?

However, if that was done in this case the fine proposed would produce a derisory figure per passenger. Surely a more realistic calculation of an appropriate level of fine should take account of both the number of victims and a sensible amount of per-victim compensation, which would encourage those entrusted with personal data in the future to protect it properly?

Alan Fitzpatrick, Dunlop.

Food for thought

YOU report that an exhaustive study has pooh-poohed the purported health benefits of the vaunted Mediterranean diet ("Med diet ‘little effect on heart disease risk’", the Herald, July 9). Well knock me down with a feather Trevor!

In my dotage I have spent many a short, sometimes long, winter break in sunny Spain; I stress the word “sunny”. Spanish winter weather is often better than summer in Scotland and beaches and promenades there are full of old codgers like me dodging the rain and snow back home. We are joining hordes of superannuated Spaniards strolling about popping into the myriad of outdoor cafes and having a wee snifter here, a wee cotrado or cerveza pequeña there or if not feeling particularly energetic and eschewing participating in the gratis beach-aerobics, we can be found snoozing in the sunshine suitably swathed in sunscreen.

I would bet a pound against a pinch of the digested remains of a Spaniard’s dinner that climate is the secret behind their longevity rather than what yer man just ate. I propose that the NHS funds a study on the effects of long-term exposure to winter sunshine on the life-expectancy of the generic Scottish old fogey and selflessly volunteer for inclusion in the project; I feel it’s my duty.

David J Crawford, Glasgow G12.

Squirrel help

REGARDING the correspondence in grey squirrels (Letters, July 5, 6 & 9), my advice is to attach a bird feeder onto the washing line, with a length of twine longer than the length of the squirrel's tail. I have tried this and there is no problem, the squirrel cannot reach either from the top or the bottom.

As to Hugh Boyd's exhortation to just relax and enjoy: has he ever had these "brilliant acrobats" hiding their seeds and peanuts in the loft area where they can and will chew through electrical cables and the like?

Constance Buchanan, Paisley.

Quiet, please

MAY I suggest that we abide by the wishes of Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, respect her privacy and not bother to publicise photographs of her. Let’s leave her alone and see how long it takes her to express her resentment that Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, receives so much more media attention. After all, Kate is so much more natural and charming. We would hate for our popular Prince Harry to think that he had married a spoiled brat.

Betty Davies, Scottish Fashion International, Edinburgh EH1.