Marriott drops hotel WiFi-blocking efforts

Brittany A. Roston - Jan 15, 2015, 5:30 am CST
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Marriott drops hotel WiFi-blocking efforts

You’ve likely heard the news by now: Marriott was slapped with a big fine for blocking patrons’ WiFi hotspots, something done under the guise of “security” but criticized as being a ploy to force guests to pay for WiFi access. This led to an official push for permission from the FCC to jam guest hotspots, and many entities and companies — including Google and Microsoft — spoke out against the petition. Now Marriott has backed down, saying it won’t go through with the plan.

Marriott made a brief announcement yesterday, saying in a statement that it “listens to its customers” and due to their nearly wholesale backlash against such a petition, Marriott International will not block its guests’ personal WiFi hotspots.

The company went on to bring up issues of security, the reason it gave for pushing for permission to jam guest hotspots, saying that it “remains committed to protecting the security of Wi-Fi access” in conference and meeting areas of hotels specifically.

As such, Marriott says it’ll be continuing to work with the FCC in getting information on what security methods it can use to protect its customers’ digital data — though it makes sure to point out that whatever it does decide to use won’t involve blocking any hotspots.

SOURCE: Marriott


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