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Waiting for my Marriott Letter

by Hu Yoshida on Dec 29, 2005

I have been a very happy owner of a share of Marriott’s Newport Coast Villas. Whether I continue to be happy will depend on a letter of notification that Marriott Vacation Club International may send me in the next few days regarding the loss of backup tapes which they sent offsite. MVCI did issue a press release yesterday explaining what happened and did give some useful hints for monitoring your credit for fraudulent use.

They didn’t answer the obvious question whether the data was encrypted or not. They simple said that it will take "specialized equipment to access content". Not sure what that means. maybe a tape controller?

Even if they find the tapes as in Toigo’s ABN Amro post, That which was lost has been found. how do we know it wasn’t compromised? Even if the tapes weren’t missing, how do we know data was not compromised?

While Specter Leahy may go too far in some regards, the provisions for  establishing  and implementing data privacy and security programs and vetting third-party contractors hired to process data, is goodness.

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Comments (5 )

Jeremiah Owyang on 29 Dec 2005 at 3:33 pm

It’s interesting to note the difference between Marriot’s online method of handling an incident using a press release/faq, vs Robert Scoble’s methods I witnessed first hand at lunch yesterday.

Microsoft interacts with the community, involves them and keeps them informed within MINUTES of notice fire.

Excerpt from the Marriott site:

“Q: Why can’t I email someone at MVCI with my questions?”


“…Many individuals have the same questions. We have included anticipated questions and answers in this Q&A package. We have also set up an e-mail box at datasecurity@vacationclub.com

Scoble gives his personal phone number out and is available as long as he has battery power –funny thing is, when I picked up his backpack yesterday, I realized he has two computers in his bag. I guess for those extra long or double fires.

Anil Gupta on 29 Dec 2005 at 4:51 pm

I don’t remember the source but someone mentioned in the media that tapes were unencrypted. Would you have been more comfortable if the tapes were encrypted and got lost?

Ludovic Leforestier on 05 Jan 2006 at 9:25 am

Mariott should buy an IBM zSeries mainframe and encrypt their tapes, I reckon!

Richard McGee on 29 Apr 2006 at 6:05 am

Very unhappy with Marriott vacation ownership-definately unethical and perhaps unlawfull behavior from sales to repurchase.
Sold to Marriotts repurchase program after 4 yrs due to the misrepresantation at time of sale and making reservations/accomodations after purchase.
Still waing for check after sale and can’t beleive the ans I am getting.

Bev Barnhart on 24 Aug 2006 at 6:07 am

About to close on my first Marriott Vacation Club “vacation week” – Any words of wisdome (pros & cons) regarding this purchase? Much appreciated . . .

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