Click Liverpool reports on a privacy controversy in the United Kingdom. Nonprofit advocacy group Privacy International is urging a government investigation of “a Bristol based company keeping a national blacklist of nightmare hotel guests.”
The new website GuestScan.com allows hotel owners to share information about “known or potential troublemakers” in an online hall of shame which lists the extent of their bad behaviour as well as personal details.
Using the database, hoteliers can identify problem guests in advance, reducing the risk of trashed rooms, non-payment or anti-social behaviour.
Guestscan insists all reports stored on its database are verified before details are added to its blacklist, but campaingers claim it is a breach of privacy.
Alex Hanff from Privacy International branded the company’s business plan dispicable, and probably illegal. […]
“The company is registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office as having four wildly inaccurate purposes such as staff administration and PR, but that’s not what they do at all.
In it’s official registration with ICO, GuestScan lists it’s last objective as keeping a “client behaviour log” to list the details of “offenders or potential offenders”.
Details such as racial or ethnic origin, sexual life and offences (including alleged offences) are kept on file after guests have left the hotel.
One expert expresses my sentiments: “But as for making records surrounding peoples’ sex lives, their religion and ethnicity, I can’t see a justification for that, Police keep these types of records, sure. But these are customers, not criminals,” said Rosemary, National Head of Information Law at law firm Pinsent Masons.