William F. Abrams, Member at Foster Pepper PLLC, told DataGuidance, “The Settlement shows that the AG is vigorously enforcing the rights of the state’s residents to protect against violations of their privacy, especially when the violations by law enforcement cause direct and immediate harm to individuals. It also shows that companies such as Motel 6 can respond quickly and openly to try to rectify their errors and prevent future harm.”
Companies that collect private personal information should conduct thorough periodic audits of their privacy policies
As part of the Settlement, Motel 6 agreed to maintain a policy to not share guest information with law enforcement without a judicially enforceable search warrant or a ‘credible reason’ to believe that an individual is in imminent danger. In addition, under the Settlement, Motel 6 must maintain records of all subpoenas and warrants, provide training for its employees, and implement a system to create and maintain incident reports for all guest information and guest list disclosures made by Motel 6 corporate-owned properties.
Abrams concluded, “Companies that collect private personal information should conduct thorough periodic audits of their privacy policies to assure compliance with their obligations, and conduct ongoing training of personnel who deal with personal information to further assure compliance. Companies must also make sure that they have tasked people to lead privacy compliance and keep informed of the rapidly evolving legal obligations and best practices regarding privacy […] I believe that privacy is a non-partisan issue in which elected officials from both sides of the aisle will work together to protect persons at local, state and federal levels. Given the gridlock in the U.S. Congress, we can expect state and local governments to lead the way on regulation in this area.”
BART VAN DER GEEST Privacy Analyst