What I Learned This Week

The Marriott data breach further sours a climate of consumer distrust of business data practices. What does it mean? How will it evolve?

On November 30, Marriott International disclosed a massive data breach involving more than 500 million customer records in the reservation system of its Starwood properties. The breach started in 2014 and predates Marriott’s 2016 acquisition of Starwood. This is the second-largest known data breach in history, behind only the Yahoo data breach of 3 billion records in 2013-14, whose true scale was only fully disclosed over time in 2016-17. Yahoo’s poor handling of the disclosure of its own data breach resulted in a $350 million loss of valuation in its acquisition negotiations with Verizon and a subsequent fine of $35 million by the SEC in April 2018. It is possible that Marriott may find it…

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