Hotel Customers Raise Data Security Concerns

6th July 2007 (Last Updated July 6th, 2007 11:30)

Consumers have an "almost fatalistic" view that personal information will be exploited by businesses, a study by the Cornell School of Hotel Administration in the US has found. The majority of participants in the study said they are sceptical about how companies will use the personal da

Consumers have an “almost fatalistic” view that personal information will be exploited by businesses, a study by the Cornell School of Hotel Administration in the US has found.

The majority of participants in the study said they are sceptical about how companies will use the personal data they collect in the course of electronic transactions, with many consumer concerned companies will track their spending habits.

Study author Erica Wagner says many respondents are also bothered by the long-term storage of data, despite the assurances of hospitality companies’ privacy policies.

“Frankly, we found that almost no one reads the privacy policies. One reason is that most policies are written in impenetrable legalese, and many customers can’t be bothered,” she says.

Ms Wagner suggests hospitality firms make a straightforward statement about how personal data will be used and then move into the specifics.

The study questioned 200 respondents from Europe, North America and Asia.