Harbour Litigation Funding is backing group action against Marriott International for data breach
Updated: Jul 18, 2021
Harbour litigation funding is backing a representative action being brought by group claims specialist Hausfeld against Marriott International following a major data breach.
Martin Bryant has filed a data breach representative action seeking compensation on behalf of millions of hotel guests domiciled in England and Wales who made reservations at hotel brands globally within the Starwood Hotels group, now part of Marriott.
Mr Bryant is the founder of technology and media consultancy Big Revolution, and a speaker and writer.
Unauthorised access to hundreds of millions of guest records was gained by unknown persons between July 2014 and September 2018 following a data security incident involving the Starwood guest reservation database. Marriott took over the group in 2016.
It exposed information such as guests’ names, email and postal addresses, telephone numbers, gender and credit card information.
Hausfeld partner Michael Bywell said: “Over a period of several years, Marriott International failed to take adequate technical or organisational measures to protect millions of their guests’ personal data which was entrusted to them.
“Marriott International acted in clear breach of data protection laws specifically put in place to protect data subjects.”
Last year, the Information Commissioner’s Office issued a statement of its intention to fine Marriott for not undertaking sufficient due diligence when it bought Starwood and not doing more to secure its systems.
Mr Bryant said: “I hope this case will raise awareness of the value of our personal data, result in fair compensation for those of us who have fallen foul of Marriott’s vast and long-lasting data breach, and also serve notice to other data owners that they must hold our data responsibly.”
Guests domiciled in England and Wales who made a reservation to stay around the world in one of the former Starwood brand hotels before 10 September 2018 will automatically be included within the class.
The brands are: W Hotels, St Regis, Sheraton Hotels & Resorts, Westin Hotels & Resorts, Element Hotels, Aloft Hotels, The Luxury Collection, Tribute Portfolio, Le Méridien Hotel & Resorts, Four Points by Sheraton and Design Hotels.
Ellora MacPherson, chief investment officer at Harbour, said: “As new legislation protecting personal data is enacted, more and more data breaches are resulting in litigation.
“Claims of this size and nature are extremely difficult to bring and sustain without the benefit of litigation financing.”