Marriott Should Pay for Hacked Customers' New Passports, Senator Says
After a massive breach of customers' data that lasted four years, Marriott is being called out by a US senator who says the hotel chain should pay for new passports for those affected by the hack.
US Senator Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York, said on Sunday that Marriott should cover the $110 new passport fee for any customer whose passport number was breached by hackers, because it puts them at a larger risk for identity theft, the AP reports.
On Friday, Marriott disclosed that hackers had been breaching the Starwood guest database sine 2014, copying and encrypting customers’ personal information, creating their own database of Starwood guests’ data. Marriott, which merged with Starwood earlier this year to form the world's largest hotel chain, said the breach affects up to 500 million guests.
The company said that credit card information was also potentially taken, but the largest amount of customers affected by the hack had "some combination of name, mailing address, phone number, email address, passport number, Starwood Preferred Guest (“SPG”) account information, date of birth, gender, arrival and departure information, reservation date, and communication preference" stolen from the database. Passport numbers can be used in conjunction with other pieces of personal information to commit identity theft.
For US travelers concerned that someone might have obtained their passport information without permission, the Identity Theft Resource Center suggests contacting the National Passport Information Center at 1-877-487-2778 or NPIC@state.gov for assistance.
TPG reached out to Marriott for comment but did not receive a response by time of publication. The hotel chain began contacting affected customers by email on Friday and also set up a website to assist guests.
If you believe you're information was hacked, here is a guide on what to do to protect yourself.
The data breach is likely one of the largest ever in US history.