Hotel Key and Personal Security

I received this email from someone..

From the California Bureau of Investigation:

"Southern California law enforcement professionals assigned to detect new threats to personal security issues, recently discovered what type of
information is embedded in the credit card type hotel room keys used throughout the industry.

Although room keys differ from hotel to hotel, a key obtained from a well known hotel chain that was being used for a regional Identity Theft
Presentation was found to contain the following the information:
a.. Customers (your) name
b.. Customers partial home address
c.. Hotel room number
d.. Check in date and check out date
e.. Customer's (your) credit card number and expiration

When you turn them in to the front desk your personal information is there for any employee to access by simply scanning the card in the hotel

An employee can take a hand full of cards home and using a scanning device, access the information onto a laptop computer and go shopping at your

Simply put, hotels do not erase the information on these cards until an employee re-issues the card to the next hotel guest. At that time, the
new guest's information is electronically "overwritten" on the card and the previous guest's information is erased in the overwriting process. But
until the card is rewritten for the next guest, it usually is kept in a drawer at the front desk with YOUR INFORMATION ON IT!!!!

The bottom line is: Keep the cards, take them home with you, or destroy them. NEVER leave them behind in the room or room wastebasket,and NEVER turn
them in to the front desk when you check out of a room. They will not charge you for the card (it's illegal) and you'll be sure you are not leaving a
lot of valuable personal information on it that could be easily lifted off with any simple scanning device card reader.

For the same reason, if you arrive at the airport and discover you still have the card key in your pocket, do not toss it in an airport trash
basket. Take it home and destroy it by cutting it up,especially through the electronic information strip!

Information courtesy of:
Pasadena Police Department

This is interesting to take note that recently, Malaysia's electronic identification card; MyKad is claimed to be readable from third party devices such as Astro's (cable-TV provider) decoder.

I am not too sure did the CMA (Communication and Multimedia Act) already taken consideration into such area where personal security is at stake. Recently, the CMA had announced legistrations for spammers. Shouldn't the government consider liable for negligence in failure for upholding effective legistrations for handling of supposedly important matters ?

Can we bring up a case before something is already happened?

Yet again, it seems like government agencies needed more ICT talents to make sure things go right.


Chandra Wijaya said…
Its nice important story. Thanks for sharing.
Anonymous said…
HI..very interesting to know about it true that the hotel can not ask back the key card because its illegal?how do you know its illegal?i've been staying in many hotels and they always ask it back..