Have you made a reservation a Starwood property since 2014? If so, your personal information — including credit card and passport information — may have been accessed by unauthorized parties.
Every day, consumers entrust sensitive information to the businesses they patronize. Accordingly, businesses such as Marriott and the vendors they hire to manage the information provided by their customers, owe a duty to their customers to securely maintain that information in confidence, and they must maintain sufficient safeguards to prevent criminals from accessing that information.
Unfortunately, Marriott, the global hospitality company with 6,700 properties in 129 countries, announced in a press release on November 30, 2018, that its Starwood guest reservation database had been compromised by hackers since 2014, exposing the sensitive information of “up to approximately 500 million guests who made a reservation at a Starwood property.” Starwood properties include: W Hotels, St. Regis, Sheraton Hotels & Resorts, Westin Hotels & Resorts, Element Hotels, Aloft Hotels, The Luxury Collection, Tribute Portfolio, Le Méridien Hotels & Resorts, Four Points by Sheraton, and Design Hotels that participate in the Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) program. Starwood branded timeshare properties are also included.
Marriott stated that “[f]or approximately 327 million of these guests, the information includes some combination of name, mailing address, phone number, email address, passport number, Starwood Preferred Guest (“SPG”) account information, date of birth, gender, arrival and departure information, reservation date, and communication preferences” and that for some guests, “the information also includes payment card numbers and payment card expiration dates.”
Any potential data breach should be taken very seriously, as the personal harm that can result is limitless and may include fraud or identity theft. Here, Marriott customers’ personal payment information has fallen into the hands of criminals and may soon be, if it has not already been, used for fraudulent purposes.
Attorneys at Finkelstein, Blankinship, Frei-Pearson & Garber, LLP have successfully recovered millions of dollars on behalf of data breach victims. We are currently investigating this matter, as well as other data breaches. If you believe that your information may have been unlawfully accessed, please contact us to discuss your legal options.