Oyo Will Share Your Live Check-In Details With Police, Govt – Is Users’ Privacy Being Violated?
Oyo wants to stop the manual process of sharing guests' data with police.
Oyo Rooms, which claims to be India’s largest hotel network with presence across 230 cities, has launched a new initiative wherein live check-in data of their guests will be instantly shared with local police and Govt.
Is Users’ privacy being violated here?
Oyo Rooms: We Will Share Guests’ Data With Govt., Instantly
During a business event in Kolkata, Oyo Rooms has declared that they are putting in place a ‘digital registry’, which will enable them to share their guests’ live check-in data instantly with Govt. officials.
The event: Bengal Tourism Summit, was organized by State Govt. to encourage tourism in the state.
Aditya Ghosh, CEO, India and South Asia, OYO Hotels and Homes announced that this new digital initiative to share guests’ data with Govt. has already started in Harayana, Rajasthan and Telangana, and would soon begin in West Bengal as well.
He said, “The West Bengal Government has been extremely progressive and forward-thinking in its ideation and implementation of tourism-friendly schemes and initiatives. OYO will be happy to assist the WB Government to maintain a real-time digital data repository,”
He asked for full co-operation fro State Governments, as this digitalization of hotel guest entries will only be successful, when both Oyo and Govt. departments have the same digital registry.
It seems that such an arrangement will work on the foundation of Blockchain, but Aditya didn’t reveal much information as to how this will work.
Digitalization Of Guests Data: Advantages
As per Aditya Ghosh, such real-time update of hotel guests’ data with local police and State Govt. will stop manipulation of hotel log-books, and law enforcement agencies will instantly get to know about the hotel guests.
Besides, hotels associated with Oyo Rooms will get a robust digital based registration system, which will further streamline the process of checking-in, and guest management.
But, the big question here: Does this violate user’s privacy?
Oyo Rooms’ Digitalization Drive Is Violating Users’ Privacy?
On a broader scale, no.
As per existing rules, local police and law enforcement agencies are supposed to get every detail about every hotel guest in every city.
As of now, this process is manual, and the hotel staff needs to manually extract the data from the hotel register, and then share them with the police. Or in some cases, police themselves visit the hotel, and extract the data manually.
Oyo basically wants to stop this manual process, and make it fully digital.
However, having said, this instant sharing of check-in data of hotel guests can create a surveillance state, which can be misused.
Imagine you checking into a hotel and the local police instantly knowing about you, and your address, location and intent of visiting the hotel/city.
Internet Freedom Foundation condemned this move, as they tweeted: “Everyday we loose more of our privacy. This also means a live update the next time you check into a hotel room. Without a warrant or a legal request, instantaneous. Scalable, deeper, richer and in real time. #SaveOurPrivacy”
Pranesh Prakash, a privacy advocate also critisized this move, as he said, “As it stands, the police don’t know what to do with all the hotel guest data they collect. Now they’re going to get even more. To be clear: the problem isn’t the creation of the data, but the lack of transparency + regs on to how it is used or misused.”
Oyo Rooms’ digitalization drive once again raises this question: What is the worth of a users’ privacy?
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