I just checked into a motel today that not only has a password for its internet access, and not only a good, secure password, but — get this — it was automatically generated when I checked in and asked about internet access, and that everyone gets an unique password. They told me that it has an expiry time that I could choose when I first logged on; if I mistakenly chose one too short, I just would have to call the front desk for a new one. I know it’s unique to “me” because I’m using two laptops on this trip, my company machine for company business, and my personal laptop for personal stuff, and when I tested the original password on my personal machine after having used my company machine, I was told that the limit of accounts attached to the password had been reached, so I called the front desk and they gave me another one, no questions asked.
Some would say that the unique passwords could be a violation of my privacy. Possibly, if they happened to tie the password to my room; I don’t know if they have, but in this case … well, the conspiracy theorist in me has not been awakened (I know, famous last words. 🙂 ) I suppose I’m not fond of the notion that the unique password could be used to against me, including wrongly and/or maliciously.
However, I suspect that I’m safe; hotels are generally in the business of being discrete as part of their profit motive, so keeping track of who gets which password or derivative information about my internet use is, well, not generally in their interest. Then again, perhaps I should also be worried about the key card hotels give me and whether they are keeping track of how often I go in and out of the room, or use the pool, hot tub, exercise room or laundry room protected by the key cards. Ooops, they took down my name, address, and phone number, and they have credit card information linked to me when I signed in! My privacy has already been thrown out the window!
I shouldn’t be — I figure that this should be the norm — but I’m sincerely impressed that this hotel protects its business resources much the same way they they protect the others, such as the aforementioned rooms, pools, hot tubs, exercise rooms, laundry rooms, and the like.