Booking.com removing email addresses from customer data
Across our European markets, we’re noticing that Priceline’s Booking.com is implementing changes in the customer data that hotels are receiving.
In France in early April, an email was received by all hotels citing potential “threat posed by online criminals” as the reason to stop making customer emails available to hotels. The same has occurred in the Czech market this week and is sure to continue in all markets. To quote the email:
As of this week, guest email addresses will be made anonymous in order to provide an extra level of security. Your email address will also be protected in the same way. You can continue to send and receive emails to and from guests as you normally would. The only difference is that your identity, as well as that of your guests, will be additionally protected.
While it is obviously in everyone’s interest to enhance security online, the value of guest data to hotels is something that will take a big hit as this rolls out, requiring additional work by hotels to now capture that data from their guests, while booking of course can retain that data. Many hotels have already expressed frustration at the move and see no additional security advantage in it.
It will be interesting to see if the hotel community reacts in any way or just accepts the reduction in information quality.