Data Breach Adds to Marriott’s Ongoing Loyalty Merger Challenges

4 December 2018

In the midst of ironing out the kinks in its newly-merged loyalty program, Marriott was hit with news of a massive data breach last week. Revealed on Friday, the breach affects over 500 million former Starwood Preferred Guest loyalty members.

In what may be the largest hack in the travel industry to date, Marriott last week revealed that its database of Starwood customers has been compromised since 2014, exposing over 500 million user profiles to unscrupulous parties out on the web.

Though they had long been in talks, Marriott International completed its acquisition of Starwood Hotels in 2016; in only August of this year did the loyalty programs officially merge.

Marriott joins a long list of travel providers that have recently been affected by data breaches. Just earlier this month, Cathay Pacific saw the information of over nine million passengers compromised while hotel operators from Hyatt to IHG to Hilton have had their own run-ins with hackers.

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