Hotels

Marriott facing class action over massive data breach

Christian Fleetwood

Christian Fleetwood

Marriott International is set to face a lawsuit in London by millions of former guests who had their personal records hacked between 2014 and 2018.

Martin Bryant, who is the founder of technology and media consultancy Big Revolution, is leading the claim for British and Welsh-based guests who made a reservation for one of the former Starwood brand hotels.

He believes there should be “recompense” for the breach which, according to Reuters, saw more than 300 million customer records – which potentially included their passport and credit card details – from Marriott’s global database hacked between 2014 and 2018.

“If a major corporation suffers a breach because it didn’t do everything it could to protect your data, and the worst it suffers is a fine for breaking data protection rules, there’s little incentive for anything to really change,” Bryant wrote in a blog post.

“But if the company becomes accountable to the customers whose data they lost, it’s a different matter.”

Reuters reported that around seven million British guest records were compromised by the hack, according to the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), which last year reportedly proposed to fine Marriott £99.2 million (more than $179 million).

The action, which is backed by law firm Hausfeld and funded by litigation funder Harbour, seeks compensation on behalf of hotel guests who made reservations at hotel brands within the Starwood group, including Sheraton Hotels & Resorts and St. Regis hotels, before 10 September 2018.

Like millions of others, Bryant said he only received a notification in late 2018 informing him that Marriott believed his data was part of the breach.

“As our lives become increasingly digital, our personal data will only become more important,” he said.

“It’s time we all as a society valued it more. That’s what I hope this case will achieve. I look forward to updating you as it progresses.”

Travel Weekly has contacted Marriott International for comment.


Featured image source: iStock/posteriori

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