Apparently Travelodge has suffered an attack on its customer database. A spokesman for the chain says that a "third party" had managed to obtain names and email addresses, according to the BBC. The company has warned users to be on the lookout for spam e-mails. The incident has been reported to the UK's information commissioner. In the UK, companies can be fined for poor data protection.
A letter to customers, signed by chief executive Guy Parsons, contained little detail about the nature of the hack. The letter stressed that the company had not sold any customer information to third parties. It also included part of a spam email customers had been receiving. The excerpt is contained below:
"Good day. Don't miss exciting career opening. The company is seeking for self-motivated people in United Kingdom to help us spread out our activity in the UK area."
A spokesman for the information commissioner said that he was looking into the Travelodge reports. A statement given out said that "We will be making enquiries into the circumstances of the alleged breach of the Data Protection Act before deciding what action, if any, needs to be taken." The ICO can levy fines up to 500,000 British pounds on companies that have failed to protect personal information entrusted to them. So if you are Travelodge customer, use your common sense when responding to or opening emails.