Marriott sets up call centre for victims of data breach


Following the data breach that affected its Starwood reservations system last year, Marriott has set up a website for those affected, as well as a dedicated country call centre. For the list of phone numbers, click here.

According to the organisation, further research into the breach has revealed that the initial estimates of 500 million records affected were inaccurate. Marriott has now identified 383 million records as the total number of guests whose information may have been involved. In a statement, Marriott said: “This does not, however, mean that information about 383 million unique guests was involved, as in many instances, there appear to be multiple records for the same guest.”

The organisation has further discovered how much of the stolen information was or was not encrypted. It stated that it had not found evidence that any unauthorised party had accessed the information needed to decrypt the information accessed. Through its dedicated call centre, the company is putting in place a facility that will allow guests to confirm if their details were part of the group of unencrypted records obtained by the hackers. This facility is not yet available.

At the end of 2018 the company completed the phase out of the operation of the Starwood reservations database. All reservations are now running through the Marriott system.

Since the announcement of the breach, Marriott has faced a class-action lawsuit filed by Murphy, Falcon and Murphy, and Morgan and Morgan, two US-based law firms. The lawsuit alleges the company had not made adequate investment in resources for its security programmes to discover the breach sooner.

Last year, the travel industry was hit by a number of high-profile data breaches related not only to hotels, but also to airlines and travel apps. In September, in response to the infiltration by hackers of British Airways’ mobile app, Travel & Meetings Buyer investigated ways corporate travellers and travel buyers could protect themselves against potential data breaches, as well as things to look out for when using travel apps. To read more, click here.



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