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December 23, 2020

Hotel booking system to pay $2.4 million over data breach

Miller, 26 AGs resolve investigation into Sabre

DES MOINES — Attorney General Tom Miller and 26 other attorneys general have entered into a settlement with Sabre Corp. that resolves an investigation into the 2017 data breach of its hotel booking system. The breach exposed the data of approximately 1.3 million credit cards.

The settlement requires injunctive relief and a payment of $2.4 million, of which the state of Iowa will receive $47,797.

Sabre Hospitality Solutions, a business segment of Sabre, operates the SynXis Central Reservation system, which facilitates the booking of hotel reservations. SynXis connects business travel coordinators, travel agencies, and online travel booking companies on one end to Sabre’s hotel customers on the other.

On June 6, 2017, Sabre informed its hotel customers of a data breach that had occurred between August 2016 and March 2017, which the business had disclosed in a 10-Q SEC filing the month before. Notice to consumers was provided by the hotels, resulting in some notices being issued as late as 2018, and some consumers receiving multiple notices stemming from the same breach.

“As we have seen in other data breaches, it’s crucial that companies provide clear and timely notifications to consumers so they can protect themselves from identity theft,” Miller said.

The settlement requires Sabre to include language in future contracts that specifies the roles and responsibilities of both parties in the event of a breach. It also requires Sabre to try to determine whether its customers have provided notice to consumers, and to provide the attorneys general a list of all the customers that it has notified. In addition, the settlement requires that Sabre implement and maintain a comprehensive information security program, implement a written incident response and data breach notification plan, implement specific security requirements, and undergo a third-party security assessment.

Joining Attorney General Miller in this settlement are the attorneys general of Vermont, Arkansas, Connecticut, Illinois, Alaska, Arizona, Florida, Hawaii, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, and Washington.

More information about protecting yourself from identity theft can be found at the Iowa Attorney General’s website.

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