Tag Archives: Privacy

Hospitality Industry Legal Update: “Guest Room Privacy and the Fourth Amendment”

In order to create and follow an eviction policy that promotes compliance with the Fourth Amendment, a hotel should identify behaviors that justify eviction.  This requires consultation of the law, including any statutes that govern hotel policies.cop car  The hotel should then train its staff to recognize and respond to behavior that triggers eviction.  A hotel should also provide guests with its eviction policy or communicate in some way the types of behavior that could trigger an eviction.  Finally, in the event of an eviction, the hotel must take steps to communicate to the guest that he or she is being evicted.

Hotels are faced with a delicate balancing act when it comes to maintaining guest privacy.  Hotel staff must comply with police investigations when noncompliance would constitute obstruction of justice.  At the same time, hotel employees must recognize their guests’ Fourth Amendment right to be protected from unreasonable searches and seizures.  If hotel employees comply with an unreasonable search or seizure that results in harm to the guest, the hotel could find itself exposed to civil liability.

Courts have recognized that the Fourth Amendment protection from unreasonable searches and seizures applies to searches and seizures in hotel and motel rooms.  Certain exceptions allow for warrantless searches and seizures, including consent.  In broad terms, the consent exception means that a party’s agreement, actual or implied to a search and/or seizure renders a warrant unnecessary.

For more: http://bit.ly/1pompRR

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Filed under Employee Practices, Guest Issues, Hotel Industry, Management And Ownership, Privacy, Risk Management

Hospitality Industry Security Update: “Navigating Concerns and Identifying Solutions”

“…Hotels are held to extraordinarily high standards with regard to safety and security.hotelkeycard.security It is critically important that all hotel staff be trained on appropriate security procedures for all high traffic areas, including the lobby, front desk, baggage storage area, guest entry points, valet, and parking lot and receiving dock areas..”

A single act of crime on your property could diminish your brand.

Business and recreational travelers demand safe and secure hotel accommodations, as well as responsive and friendly customer service. How can hoteliers ensure that their property provides as secure an environment as possible, while maintaining friendly customer service?

Best practices for protecting sensitive business information while making people productive from

As Warren Buffet said, “it takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.”

With that said, here are nine things to consider when it comes to blending hospitality and security.

For more: http://bit.ly/T3dyv1

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Filed under Guest Issues, Hotel Industry, Management And Ownership, Risk Management, Technology, Training

Hospitality Industry Technology Issues: Hotels And Restaurants Face “Privacy Issues” When Guests Wear “Google Glass”; Videotaping Without Permission

“…there are definitely privacy implications for those who wear and use Google Glass in public…People want to go (to restaurants and hotels) and not be known … and Hospitality Industry Google Glass Privacydefinitely don’t want to be secretly filmed or videotaped and immediately put on the Internet…as a society, know how to appropriately use our mobile phones, (and) most Google Glass wearers (should) know how to appropriately use them as well…”

In an effort to protect patrons in his restaurant from being photographed or videotaped without permission, Seattle restaurant owner Dave Meinhart  banned Google Glass from one of his restaurants. But last week, Nick Starr, a local early adopter of Google Glass, was kicked out of Dave’s other restaurant, Lost Lake Cafe & Lounge, starting a PR storm by demanding an apology and the firing of the waitress who kicked him out.

In just a few weeks, thousands of people will become the next wave of not-so-early adopters to receive Google Glass. Initially launched in early 2013, Google Glass quickly became a hot topic for tech pundits who questioned its ability to protect privacy, its usefulness, and whether or not it would be as cool as the bluetooth was.

For more:  http://www.forbes.com/sites/kellyclay/2013/12/03/how-to-not-look-like-a-jerk-with-google-glass/

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Hospitality Industry Legal Risks: Hotel Management Must Evaluate And Prepare For Potential “Punitive Damage Claims” In Lawsuits Arising From Privacy, Over Service Of Alcohol And Criminal Actions Of Employees

“…the No. 1 priority is effective case evaluation and resolution. Early factual investigation is critical in determining what happened, why it happened and who was involved. Knowing and preserving the correct version of facts and events with effective reporting mechanisms is essential Hospitality Industry Lawsuitto knowing what kind of claim possibly can be presented and what kind of exposure exists…”

“…it is critical to evaluate the potential punitive exposure early and assess the potential for a punitive claim to get to a jury. Always consider the risk that punitive damages may get to a jury, how a jury will receive the evidence and whether your hotel could be punished by a jury that is attempting to make a statement that these incidents will not be tolerated…”

Hoteliers may face the problematic public-relations case that contains a punitive damages claim. These claims include: invasion of privacy, inappropriate surveillance, over service of alcohol, and criminal actions of employees and third parties. These cases are difficult for members of the hospitality industry who pride themselves on showing customers a positive experience, want good feedback and want customers to return to their hotel.

Securing and preserving evidence, which includes photographs, videos, an accident report, incident statement and/or witness statements must be undertaken to document what the incident involves. If photographs and videos are not preserved once a hotel has notice of a claim, a court could instruct the jury that they can infer the hotel destroyed the evidence for a reason. It is critical to use technology to best find and preserve evidence. No potential accident can be overlooked as a hospitality group never knows what accidents can turn into a possible lawsuit.

For more:  http://www.hotelnewsnow.com/Articles.aspx/10625/How-to-respond-to-punitive-damages-claims

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Filed under Claims, Employment Practices Liability, Guest Issues, Insurance, Labor Issues, Liability, Management And Ownership, Risk Management

Hospitality Industry Privacy Risks: Texas Hotel Employee Arrested For “Attempted Improper Photography And Visual Recording”; Cell Phone Placed In Ceiling Above Guest Room Shower

“…Police say a guest reported hearing an alarm-type sound coming from the bathroom area of her hotel room while she was in the shower…she hotel room privacyfound a small pinhole with a camera lens behind it in the ceiling. After moving the tiles, she discovered the cell phone…Hotel security removed the camera from the ceiling and noted that it was powered on…The room’s electric lock showed that (the defendant) had entered the room the day prior with the key assigned to him….”

A housekeeper at the Hyatt Regency hotel located at 208 Barton Springs is charged with misdemeanor attempted improper photography and visual recording. Blue Moo Too, 30, is charged after his cell phone was found hidden in a ceiling tile above the shower of one of the hotel rooms.

Video on the phone showed a man placing it in the bathroom ceiling and wiping away his footprints from the bathtub. The hotel’s executive housekeeper identified the man as her employee, Too, a housekeeper at the hotel.

Too was booked into Travis County Jail on April 12 with a $25,000 bail. He has since bonded out. Police say they didn’t find evidence of any other victims on his cell phone. His computer is still being looked at. At this time, the former housekeeper is facing up to one year in jail and a fine of no more than $4,000.

For more: http://www.kvue.com/news/Hyatt-hotel-worker-charged-with-improper-photography-203045331.html

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Filed under Crime, Guest Issues, Labor Issues, Liability, Management And Ownership, Privacy

Hospitality Industry Legal Risks: Hotel “Mobile Applications” Must “Post Privacy Policy” Allowing Guests To “Access And/Or Request Changes To Personal Information”

“…In the case of an online service, “conspicuously posting” a privacy policy requires that the policy be “reasonably accessible…for consumers of the online service…the consumer (must be able) to access or request mobile technologychanges to personal information, (and) the operator of the site will notify consumers of changes, and the effective date of the policy..”

Hotel companies are actively entering the mobile application space as a means of gaining market share and solidifying guest relations. In addition to online travel agents like HotelsbyMe.com, a number of brands including Omni, Choice and Starwood have developed mobile applications. However, as mobile applications gain popularity, hotel companies should consider how privacy and security laws will impact how they can use those applications.

For companies with operations in California, that issue was highlighted on December 6, 2012, when the California Attorney General filed a lawsuit against Delta Airlines for failing to include a privacy policy with a smartphone application. The lawsuit, the first of its kind, alleges that Delta violated California law requiring online services to “conspicuously post its privacy policy” by failing to include such a policy with its “Fly Delta” mobile application.

The California online privacy law

In 2004, California enacted the California Online Privacy Protection Act (“CalOPPA”). This law requires operators of websites and online services to “conspicuously post” privacy policies about the personal information that is collected, how the consumer can access or request changes to personal information, how the operator of the site will notify consumers of changes, and the effective date of the policy.

In the case of an online service, “conspicuously posting” a privacy policy requires that the policy be “reasonably accessible…for consumers of the online service.”

CalOPPA does not define an “online service” or mention “mobile” or “smartphone” applications, likely due to the fact that in 2004, smartphones and mobile applications were just being developed. However, the California Attorney General considers any service available over the internet or that connects to the internet, including mobile apps, to be an “online service.”
For more:  http://www.hotelnewsresource.com/article68597Hotel_Lawyer_on_How_New_Privacy_Law_Enforcement_May_Affect_Your_Mobile_Apps_Used_in_Marketing_.html

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Filed under Guest Issues, Liability, Management And Ownership, Privacy, Risk Management

Hospitality Industry Employee Risks: Alabama Hotel Clerk, With Prior Arrest Record, Arrested For Stealing Guest Credit Card Informatiom

Rains says Niles got the guests information from the hotels computer database and used it for more than just their rooms.

A Mobile hotel clerk is behind bars. The Mobile Police Department says he was doing more than checking guests in, he was using their credit card information.

“While working as a front desk clerk at a local hotel he actually stole credit card information from one victim who had previously stayed at the hotel,” said Rains.

“He used this information to book hotels for him and his friends and we were actually able to catch him,” said Rains.

This wasn’t Niles first time. He has been arrested several times for charges like identity theft and possession of a forged instrument.

“He was on probation for the same crimes when he committed these,” said Rains.

Police say Niles charged a significant amount of money. Thankfully the victim was monitoring the transactions.

“As a safeguard just to make sure that your credit cards aren’t being used fraudulently the best thing you can do is check your accounts and alert your credit card provider if you’d see anything fraudulent,” said Rains.

For more:  http://www.fox10tv.com/dpp/news/local_news/mobile_county/mpd-hotel-clerk-using-guest-credit-card

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Filed under Crime, Guest Issues, Liability, Management And Ownership, Privacy, Theft