As you’ve probably already heard, Marriott International has confirmed a breach of its Starwood reservation system that exposed the personal data of some 500 million individuals. It’s the second-largest corporate data breach in history.
As written in the New York Times story linked above, “The breach hit customers who made reservations for the Marriott-owned Starwood hotel brands from 2014 to September 2018. The properties include Sheraton, Westin, W Hotels, St. Regis, Four Points, Aloft, Le Méridien, Tribute, Design Hotels, Element and the Luxury Collection…The names, addresses, phone numbers, birth dates, email addresses and encrypted credit card details of hotel customers were stolen. The travel histories and passport numbers of a smaller group of guests were also taken.”
If you think you may be affected—or if you just want to be safe—here’s a great CNN post on what to do next (for starters, if you have a Marriott online account you should change your password). Meanwhile, Marriott (which is taking a lot of heat even though it didn’t buy Starwood until 2016) has indicated that it will be emailing all individuals affected by the breach and is providing up-to-date official details (and an FAQ) on this page. Surprisingly, I haven’t been notified yet and I’ve stayed at dozens of Starwood properties around the world. I’m staying tuned.
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