Marriot’s Starwood Hotels Lose Millions of Guest Records in Data Breach

December 4, 2018 | Attorney, Matthew Dolman
Marriot’s Starwood Hotels Lose Millions of Guest Records in Data Breach

Starwood Hotel Guests Have Information Stolen in Data Breach

The major hotel chain, Starwood, has recently confirmed that it has suffered a data breach that resulted in the theft of around 500 million customer's private data. Starwood released a statement saying that “unauthorized access” to their guest database was actually detected on or before September 10th but could possibly go back as far as 2014. Marriot further reported those responsible for breaching Starwood's guest information copied and encrypted it before removing it.

Starwood Hotel Massive Data Breach Contents

The company so far has managed to obtain and decrypt the breached guest database since November 19th with full confirmation it was the Starwood's lost guest data. The data that was stolen in the breach of Starwood's system included sensitive information of guests that amounted to up to 327 million records. These records contained things like the guest's name, mail address, phone number, date of birth, gender, email address, passport number, Starwood's rewards information (including points and balance), arrival and departure information, reservation date and their communication preferences. The most concerning part of this breach is that an unknown number of records that were stolen in the breach contained encrypted credit card data. While the credit card data that was stolen was encrypted, Marriot and the authorities have reason to suspect that the components that are needed to decrypt the credit card data could have been taken as well.

Marriot and Starwood Hotel

Marriot has specified that their regular Marriot hotels were not affected by the breach and their guest information remains secure due to the two systems being separate. Marriot acquired the Starwood company back in 2016 The Starwood hotel chain is the largest hotel chain in the world. It consists of over 11 brands that run 1,200 properties for recognizable hotel names such as Sheraton, Westin, and St. Regis as well as many timeshare properties.

Damage to Starwood Hotel Customers

The customers of the Starwood hotel that could be affected by this massive data breach have since been reached out to by Marriot. Being informed that the information that you trusted to the hands of a company for a service is now in the hands of someone that can abuse it, is anything but a welcome experience. Those who have had their information compromised by this breach stand to lose quite a bit. One of the most obvious dangers brought on by this data breach is identity theft. With even some of the more basic information such as full name, mailing address, and phone number can be taken advantage of by a scam artist or identity thief. Should someone get ahold of your credit card information, then there can be some significant damage done to finances and credit despite many of the anti-identity theft countermeasures put in place by credit card companies and banks.

Holding a Hotel Accountable for Damages Suffered

It is not entirely unusual for injuries to be sustained in a hotel that result in extensive damages. Many of these injuries are the result of negligence on the part of the hotel and therefore the hotel can be held accountable for the damages they caused through a personal injury claim. In the case of the data breach affecting Starwood, there may not be an injury done to their customer's in the physical sense but there is potential for a lawsuit to be made where a plaintiff would seek compensation for damages done by someone that took advantage of their compromised information. If the plaintiff can show that they suffered damages because of Starwood's data breach and that this damage was done due to some form of negligence on Starwood's part, then they could possibly make a good case for receiving compensation.

Hotel and Resort Personal Injuries

The same goes for if someone slips and falls on an unmarked wet floor in a hotel or if a poorly maintained resort swimming pool injures a guest. Hotels like Starwood and Marriot should be held accountable for any damage they do to their customers when the cause of such damages could have been remedied had the hotels been less negligent. The data breach could possibly be linked to negligent security on the hotels part. With the right attorney, you could have the circumstances surrounding your possible case investigated to determine if you are indeed eligible for compensation.

Consider Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA for a Free Consultation

Individuals who sustain injuries while staying at or visiting a hotel or resort are often entitled to significant financial compensation. Examples of the kinds of damages often available in a hotel or resort injury case include medical expenses, lost income, physical and emotional pain or suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life, among others. In certain cases, significant punitive damages may also be available. The lawyers of the Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA are skilled and experienced personal injury advocates who are committed to helping people who have been injured by the carelessness of others. To schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys, submit a contact form online or call our office today at 727-451-6900. Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA 800 North Belcher Road Clearwater, FL 33756 727-451-6900


Matthew Dolman

Personal Injury Lawyer

This article was written and reviewed by Matthew Dolman. Matt has been a practicing civil trial, personal injury, products liability, and mass tort lawyer since 2004. He has successfully fought for more than 11,000 injured clients and acted as lead counsel in more than 1,000 lawsuits. Always on the cutting edge of personal injury law, Matt is actively engaged in complex legal matters, including Suboxone, AFFF, and Ozempic lawsuits.  Matt is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum for resolving individual cases in excess of $1 million and $2 million, respectively. He has also been selected by his colleagues as a Florida Superlawyer and as a member of Florida’s Legal Elite on multiple occasions. Further, Matt has been quoted in the media numerous times and is a sought-after speaker on a variety of legal issues and topics.

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