Skift Take

Data from Marriott suggest that its 2018 breach wasn't as massive as originally feared — but the hack still affected over 300 million records.

Series: Business of Loyalty

Travel Loyalty News

The Skift Business of Loyalty covers the world of hotel, airline, and other consumer loyalty programs in the travel industry. Read more coverage of loyalty here.

Marriott’s data breach from late last year wasn’t as bad as originally feared, the company confirmed Friday, but it was still unprecedented.

According to the massive hotel group, the number of records affected by the breach is probably closer to 383 million, rather than the originally thumbnailed 500 million. Furthermore, many of those records are from the same guests, so it’s likely that the number of affected travelers is significantly lower.

Additionally, Marriott revealed that it likely exposed some 20 million encrypted and 5 million unencrypted passport numbers as well as over 8 million payment cards — though only 2,000 of those numbers were unencrypted.

These new numbers don’t affect the fact that this was still the largest data breach that the travel industry has ever seen — and that there’s still a long way to go until the ship is righted. Through much of the year, former members of Starwood Preferred Guest and current members of Marriott Rewards will be dealing with the fallout of this breach. Now, it’s just 25 percent fewer members.

— Grant Martin, Business of Loyalty Editor

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Skift Business of Loyalty Editor Grant Martin [[email protected]] curates the Skift Business of Loyalty newsletter. Skift emails the newsletter every Monday.

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Tags: loyalty, marriott bonvoy, starwood preferred guest

Photo credit: The W Las Vegas, part of the Marriott family of hotels Marriott

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