Understanding Security--Where Does All the Hotel Guest Data Go?
So you check-in, hand over your credit card…and then what? As our reliance on computers and electronic data grows, hotel managers and operators have access to your credit card and other personal data. There are obviously great benefits to all this technology. Almost instantly a hotel manager or operator can pull up your preferences, stay history and special notes in the system , as well as other information that will help make your stay more pleasurable. The challenge for hotel employees is ensuring the security of such data so that guests don’t fear hacking or the unauthorized release of private information. It seems that almost weekly we hear about some major hacking job that penetrates a seemingly bulletproof system, resulting in the release of hundreds, if not thousands, of credit card numbers, social security numbers or other vital personal data.
There are numerous conferences and seminars on this topic, and hotel managers and operators generally understand and respect the need to implement procedures to protect all of the guest data they collect over the course of years. And while various websites publish customer comments and ratings regarding the perceived “security” of the property, there is no uniform, industry-defined ratings process. Consequently, most prospective guests likely turn to friends or to the customer-driven websites for advice about the property, or perhaps they rely on the reputation of the brands or managers.