This month’s roundup of news from the technology sector includes Huazhu hit by breach; California adopting new internet rules; and more.
Hotel News Now’s Tech Impact Report each month features a news roundup from the hotel technology sector. Subscribe to the free monthly report here.
Huazhu hit by apparent breach
Chinese authorities recently confirmed they’re looking into a breach of “nearly 500 million pieces of customer-related information” from Huazhu Group, which operates 18 brands in China, according to Reuters, including AccorHotels’ Mercure and Ibis brands. The affected information includes “customer registration information, personal data and booking records,” and was found in an online post.
Hotel touch screens could be vulnerability
A variety of touch screens often used in meetings spaces and other parts of hotels has apparently been found to have “over two dozen vulnerabilities” by security researchers, according to Wired. The news outlet notes the vulnerabilities, which the manufacturer has sought to address via a patch, could “theoretically turn the Crestron Android touch panels used in offices and hotel rooms into spy devices.”
California continues pushing forward with new tech rules
After rolling out the most stringent data protection rules in the country, California officials have moved forward with adopting new internet rules that The Wall Street Journal described as “the strongest net-neutrality rules in the nation.”
“The California bill would forbid internet service providers from blocking websites, intentionally slowing down a website or app or accepting payments to make online services go faster,” the newspaper reports. “Such regulations resemble those adopted by the Obama-era Federal Communications Commission.”
IHG awarded patent on Crowne Plaza rooms
InterContinental Hotels Group was awarded a patent by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for the Crowne Plaza brand's WorkLife Room, according to Forbes.
Forbes notes the practices of seeking patents is rare in the hotel design space.
“It's rare to patent a new hotel room design,” the report notes. “None of IHG's competitors in this space, including Accor and Marriott, are thought to have applied for or received comparable patients. Similar room-of-the-future projects at Hilton are still in the development stage. The last company to patent a room concept is Disney, which filed an application to patent its Star Wars-themed hotel rooms in 2016.”
Compiled by Sean McCracken.