Posted by William Charles on December 5, 2018
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Published on December 5th, 2018 | by William Charles


Marriott Offers To Cover Costs Of Passport Replacement – But Only After Fraud Has Occurred

In case you missed it a few days ago it was revealed that the Starwood Preferred Guest (now owned by Marriott) reservation system was breached and data of 500 million customers was stolen. One of the pieces of information that was stolen includes passport numbers. Senator Charles Schumer came out and advocated that Marriott should pay for the costs of replacing passports for those that are impacted. Since then Marriott has announced that they will pay for the cost of replacing a passport, but only if it can be proven that fraud has taken place.

Because of this breach the State department has had to issue advice to consumers recommending that they don’t request a replacement if they were involved in this hack. Despite that assurance, one of the questions asked when reporting a lost/stolen passport is the previous passport number, NY Times has dedicated a piece to whether you should ask for a replacement. I’m of the belief that companies that suffer data breaches should be responsible for any reasonable costs involved in both protecting and restoring your identity if stolen. In this case Marriott is only happy to pay for passport replacements after fraud has occurred and even then you need to go through their process and they still will only pay out if that process determines fraud has occurred.

At the moment the costs of data breaches are being absorbed by companies other than those suffering the breach. For example, on the other side of every fraudulent transaction somebody is left paying that bill (e.g if credit card fraud occurs then either the payment network, card issuer or retailer accepting the payment are liable). Having your identity stolen can be life ruining and at this stage it’s clear that large scale corporations such as Marriott & Equifax are not taking information security seriously and refuse to invest resources in keeping personal data safe.

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Not well handled by Marriott. Just makes me angry at the brand.

Not until senior managers starts getting charged with felonies will these data breaches be taken seriously by corporations. Class action suits are just figured into the cost of doing business and when you have over 30% marketshare you can weather the PR storm.

What crime would you charge them with that would actually stick?

How does one know if their information was compromised? I have not heard from Marriott. Should we be calling them?

Marriott is having a bad day – the breach dated back to 2014, long before SPG was acquired by Marriott.

They bought it. Their problem.

How does one know if their info is compromised? I have not heard from Marriott. Should we be calling them?

We will pay to close the barn door…but only after we can verify that horses are escaping.


Is this a new benefit only for Platinum elite super goku level after 150k in spend at full service Ritz Carlton properties located in Indiana?

I hope Marriott is effective in pursuing action for this against SPG owners/shareholders, since it occurred and likely had to be known before the sale. I’d also like to know if it wasn’t discovered earlier during all the system combinations? Timelines are key here.

did you mean restoring (in bold)? (not resorting)

Not until the party of business lets business know this has gone too far and the people that vote like lemmings for the party of the business and rich people actually use their heads while voting will anything be actually done.

Once fraud has occurred, new passport expense is possibly the lowest of your expenses. It just goes to show how Marriott must have thought of the security when they acquired SPG – let a breach occur and then we’ll fix the security hole. Unless the penalties are severe enough to dent the stock price, companies will continue to act this way.

This is CLASSIC Schumer playbook here

“You Will Be OK” ™, – Arne Lying Sorenson

The most dangerous place in the world is between Chucky Schumer and a microphone.

He didn’t seem to have much to say when the Chinese hacked OPM and got all the info of those with .gov clearance levels.

That said, why would anyone put their passport number into a hotel reservation? I just check my Marriott profile and there isn’t even a place to put my passport number.

Interestingly Marriott is the biggest victim here. SPG got breached, not Marriott. They effectively bought a massive liability. The calls should be for prosecuting the SPG management not Marriott.

Exactly, Frank. William, I’m sure they did and that information wasn’t known yet or hidden from them.

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